Reyes: First- or third-round talent?
27th Pick: Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut
Reyes is really strong and will get offensive linemen up off their feet as he pushes them into the backfield. He's not going to shed blocks as a brilliant pass-rusher would, but Reyes can develop into the guy who makes everybody else a better pass-rusher because he demands so much blocking help.
Mel Kiper is one of the most recognizable and trusted names in the business, but his most recent mock drafts have contained a few eyebrow-raisers.
Kiper has Reyes on the rise in his first round—he previously slotted Reyes to the Patriots at No. 31—but many other analysts see him as a mid-round talent.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has Reyes as the eighth-best defensive tackle on his big board, and his 73rd player overall. That view is shared by FF Toolbox. Sideline Scouting don't even have Reyes in their top 100.
His measurables make him a candidate for the defensive end spot in the Patriots' base 3-4 front, but Belichick is unlikely to use his top draft pick on a developmental prospect. He likes his first-round players to come with more guarantees.
31st Pick: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
There's no question that Jenkins comes with baggage, but without it you're talking about a player in the conversation 20 spots higher on the board. If you like you're locker room and feel like you can keep him on track, this is the kind of guy you take a risk on at a big need position.
An interesting proposal, but not one I see the Patriots having any appetite for. Jenkins' talent has never been in question, but his character issues will raise a big red flag on Bill Belichick and director of player development Nick Caserio's radars.
He interviewed candidly at the combine, but I don't think his face-to-face time with NFL scouts will have affected his draft stock dramatically.
Jenkin's background is well-documented—three arrests, four children with three different women, and getting himself kicked off the Florida Gators program—and experience tells us that many players like him have struggled to change.
Aqib Talib and Pacman Jones immediately spring to mind as pro comparisons. Time will tell if that judgement is harsh, but I don't envisage the Patriots taking such a risk with one of their first-round picks.