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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Mock thoughts: Jordan & Smith

By Mike Reiss

Don Banks of SI.com offers up his second mock draft -- a pre-combine version -- and there are two changes for the Patriots. Banks has the team selecting Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan at No. 17 and Maryland receiver Torrey Smith at No. 28.

On Jordan, Banks writes of how he "played in a 3-4 at Cal and has some pass rush juice while also holding up nicely against the run." On Smith, Banks notes that "given their need for a vertical threat in the post-Randy Moss era, a speedster like Smith is a tantalizing option."

In his first mock draft, Banks had the Patriots going with Wisconsin defensive lineman J.J. Watt at No. 17 and Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston at No. 28. This time around, Watt is off the board (No. 8, Titans), and Houston slides out of the first round.

ANALYSIS: Jordan looks like a great fit for the Patriots as a long-term answer at right defensive end. He could potentially also stay on the field in passing situations, rushing from an interior position. In this scenario, I think a better fit for the Patriots at No. 28 would be Florida center/guard Mike Pouncey, who would be a safer pick and would contribute to an overall approach of getting stronger at the line of scrimmage while addressing a significant need. The Patriots still have young receivers in Brandon Tate and Taylor Price who can help them next season.