- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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In his most recent mock draft, Don Banks of SI.com focuses on defense for the Patriots with their top two selections.
At No. 27, he has Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones as the pick.
"Jones makes his initial appearance of the year in our first round, but he looks to be the kind of versatile talent who can play multiple spots on the Patriots defensive line," Banks writes. "His best spot is probably as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 front, the formation that's expected to return to prominence in Foxboro this season.
Then at No. 31, UConn defensive Kendall Reyes is the choice as it's a heavy focus on the line of scrimmage.
"It'd be just like the Patriots to deal out of this slot and turn it into future draft capital, but Reyes would be another versatile prospect who can handle more than one role in New England's defensive front," Banks writes.
To read the mock draft, CLICK HERE.
ANALYSIS: Both players seem to fit the Patriots' scheme and also appear to have solid intangibles that would be attractive to Bill Belichick. As Banks notes, the Patriots might be inclined to trade one of the picks, as that would be consistent with their past wheeling and dealing. One thought is the safety spot, the Patriots' presumed desire to draft a player there, and what part of the board they will strike at the position. If they pass on Notre Dame's Harrison Smith late in the first round -- assuming there is interest -- there must be consideration to the long gap to the 48th pick and the unlikely scenario he would be there midway throught the second round.
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