Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Mock thoughts: DE & WR combo
By Mike Reiss
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. produces the second version of his mock draft (Insider content), and there are Patriots-based changes from his first submission.
Kiper gives the Patriots defensive end Cameron Jordan (California) at No. 17.
"A defensive end with the versatility to play either the 4-3 or the 3-4, his experience in the 3-4 at Cal makes him an ideal kind of Bill Belichick player," Kiper writes. "Smart, versatile and able to help the team in that role early."
"Smith adds speed and the chance to turn short catches into touchdowns," Kiper writes. "He will develop as a deep threat as well. New England shouldn't wonder whether it gave Tom Brady enough weapons."
ANALYSIS: Kiper's first mock draft had the Patriots taking Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt at No. 17, but he is off the board early in this second projection. Kiper also had the Patriots taking Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure at No. 28, but Leshoure has dropped out of the first round on his second projection. Perhaps the Patriots would consider him at No. 33 overall -- the top pick of the second round -- in this scenario. I don't envision the Patriots going for a receiver like Smith at No. 28. A player like Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston might be a better fit in this scenario.