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Monday, April 14, 2014
Beyond the 1st round: Defensive tackle

By Mike Reiss

Each day over the next 10 days, this space will focus on one position in the NFL draft by highlighting a prospect in rounds 2-7 who might fit for the Patriots. With so much attention placed on the first round in mock drafts, “Beyond the first round” focuses on lesser-publicized options beyond the first 32 picks.

Second round: Daniel McCullers (Tennessee)
Would be classified as a "traits" prospect as he has rare measureables -- 6-foot-6 3/4, 353 pounds, 11-inch hands, and 36.5-inch arm length. The team selecting him would be projecting the ability to harness those traits into a more productive football player.

DaQuan Jones
At 6-foot-3 3/4 and 323 pounds, Daquan Jones has NFL size.
Third round: DaQuan Jones (Penn State)
Spent the last two years under former Patriots assistant Bill O'Brien at Penn State and has NFL size -- 6-foot-3 3/4 and 323 pounds. Could have some scheme versatility as well.

Fourth round: Deandre Coleman (California)
A team captain who appeared in 49 games over the last four years, Coleman (6-foot-4 3/4, 314 pounds) has long arms (34 1/4), played strong against the run, and has some versatility.

Fifth round: Jason Bromley (Syracuse)
Played in 50 games over the last four years and at 6-foot-3 1/8 and 306 pounds, he could potentially be viewed as another versatile prospect who fits in even and odd fronts.

Sixth round: Khyri Thornton (Southern Mississippi)
A former teammate of 2013 Patriots top pick Jamie Collins at Southern Mississippi, Thornton (6-2 5/8, 304) played in 50 career games and has some physical traits that could be appealing if still on the board at this point.

Seventh round: Bruce Gaston (Purdue)
A team captain who played in 50 games, Gaston (6-2, 316) has some physical traits that could warrant a look.

(Round projections aided by Scouts Inc., NFL.com and independent analysis.)