McShay's updated draft projection

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
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Todd McShay of ESPN's Scouts Inc., has posted his latest projected first-round mock draft, and he has switched things up for the Patriots.

Count McShay among those who believe Illinois outside linebacker/defensive end Whitney Mercilus is a possible fit at the No. 27 pick for the Patriots.
"New England needs pass-rush help, and Mercilus has a nonstop motor and a knack for making big plays (FBS-best nine forced fumbles in 2011)," McShay writes.

Then, at No. 31, McShay slots Penn State defensive lineman Devon Still to the Patriots.
"Still could show more consistency, but if the Patriots get their pass-rusher at No. 27 and there are no viable options available at wide receiver, he would offer an upgrade over DTs Kyle Love and Ron Brace in four-man fronts," McShay writes.

In his previous mock draft, McShay had Syracuse defensive end/outside linebacker Chandler Jones (27) and Clemson defensive lineman Brandon Thompson (31) going to the Patriots. Both of those players have dropped out of the first round in McShay's latest mock.

To read the mock draft (Insider content), CLICK HERE.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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