- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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How would the first round of the 2012 draft unfold if it was held now?
That is a question that Don Banks of SI.com attempts to answer in his enjoyable re-draft (link here). The main theme from a Patriots perspective is that defensive end Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower were close to the actual spots in which they were selected.
Banks bumps Jones up one spot, from 21 to 20, slotting him to the Titans.
"Jones had six sacks as a rookie in New England, and although he didn't finish the season as strongly as he started it, he showed enough ability to get to the quarterback to make the Patriots believe they took a promising young play-maker at No. 21 last April," Banks writes.
Meanwhile, Hightower slips one spot, from 25 to 26, because Banks envisioned the Patriots selecting sliding defensive tackle Michael Brockers instead.
"Hightower did fine as a rookie, but the Patriots lacked any semblance of pass rush from their defensive interior," Banks writes, later noting that Hightower could have helped the Texans as an inside linebacker.