The SB Nation two-round NFL mock draft continues along with each lead NFL team blogger making the pick for their team. Up now is the New England Patriots with the No. 31 pick.
With the 31st pick in the 2012 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the New England Patriots select Connecticut defensive tackle Kendall Reyes.
Greg Knopping of PatsPulpit.com made the pick and explains it after the jump and I respond.
Greg Knopping explains: After picking up Illinois defensive end / outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus with the 27th pick, I have the Patriots continuing to upgrade their front seven with the selection of Connecticut defensive lineman Kendall Reyes with the 31st pick. While the Patriots could very well trade out of one of their two first round spots, they have a pressing need to add talent at the 5-technique position this draft. While Brandon Deaderick, Jonathan Fanene, and Ron Brace can start as needed, none have a very high ceiling. Kendall Reyes would offer that for the Patriots. He's got good size (6'4", 299 lbs), athleticism, and work ethic. He could probably jump into the defensive line rotation as an one-gap interior rusher as a rookie, and be a starter at defensive end in the base 3-4 by year two.
Dan Kadar responds: As you can see below, the first pick in this mock for the Patriots was used on pass rusher Whitney Mercilus. Even with him, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a second rusher picked early. Clemson's Andre Branch could fit both as a 3-4 linebacker and a 4-3 end. Reyes is a good choice, though. Brandon Deadrick was solid for the Patriots, but Reyes would be an upgrade. A cornerback will also be considered.
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects