2012 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft: Round 1, Pick 31

EAST HARTFORD, CT - NOVEMBER 26: Kendall Reyes #99 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates his touchdown run in the first half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on November 26, 2011 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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

OVR Name Pos. College Report
19 Peter Konz
C Wisconsin scouting report
22 Zach Brown
OLB North Carolina
prospect notes
23 Brandon Thompson
DT Clemson
scouting report
24 Andre Branch
DE Clemson
scouting report
25 David Wilson
RB Virginia Tech
scouting report

Pick Team Player Pos. School Story
1 Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck QB Stanford Story
2 Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III QB Baylor Story
3 Minnesota Vikings Matt Kalil OT USC Story
4 Cleveland Browns Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State Story
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Morris Claiborne CB LSU Story
6. St. Louis Rams Trent Richardson RB Alabama Story
7 Jacksonville Jaguars Quinton Coples DE North Carolina Story
8 Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M Story
9 Carolina Panthers Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State Story
10 Buffalo Bills Mike Adams OT Ohio State Story
11 Kansas City Chiefs Riley Reiff OT Iowa Story
12 Seattle Seahawks Courtney Upshaw OLB Alabama Story
13 Arizona Cardinals Jonathan Martin OT Stanford Story
14 Dallas Cowboys David DeCastro G Stanford Story
15 Philadelphia Eagles Luke Kuechly LB Boston College Story
16 New York Jets Melvin Ingram DE South Carolina Story
17 Cincinnati Bengals Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina Story
18 San Diego Chargers Mark Barron S Alabama Story
19 Chicago Bears Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame Story
20 Tennessee Titans Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama Story
21 Cincinnati Bengals Cordy Glenn OT Georgia Story
22 Cleveland Browns Kendall Wright WR Baylor Story
23 Detroit Lions
Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
Story
24 Pittsburgh Steelers
Dont'a Hightower MLB Alabama
Story
25 Denver Broncos
Michael Brockers DT LSU
Story
26 Houston Texans
Dontari Poe DT Memphis
Story
27 New England Patriots
Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois
Story
28 Green Bay Packers
Devon Still DT Penn State
Story
29 Baltimore Ravens
Kevin Zeitler G Wisconsin
Story
30 San Francisco 49ers
Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech
Story
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