The Patriots might have an opportunity to draft a lifelong New Englander when they're on the clock this week. UConn defensive lineman Kendall Reyes, a native of Nashua, N.H., is a potential first-round prospect who fits the Patriots' scheme.
Reyes is the focus of the 22nd installment of a 26-day series that will highlight draft prospects who could land with the Patriots at the end of April. Maybe the prospect fits perfectly in the range of their 27th and 31st picks. Maybe he's intriguing enough for them to make a rare move up the board. Or maybe it's a player who could be available in the mid-30s, causing the Patriots to, gasp, trade down.
The 6-foot-4, 299-pounder had 4.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, 46 total tackles, one fumble recovery, three quarterback hurries and four pass breakups in 2011.
Why the Patriots Would Want Him
The two-time captain is big, powerful and quick, and he can play across the line in a three-man front. He's also got enough ability to push through his blockers from an interior position in the 4-3. Reyes is a strong run stuffer who would be well-suited for New England's multiple fronts.
Why the Patriots Might Stay Away
Reyes, whose stock started to rise at the Senior Bowl, is a good player, but he might be a little too similar to others on the Patriots' roster, including Kyle Love and Gerard Warren when he inevitably returns. While Reyes would provide some quality depth, the Patriots might prefer to opt for a player with a different skillset at that point in the draft.
Potential Impact in 2012
Vince Wilfork and Love would still be the top two tackles on the depth chart, so Reyes would be involved in a rotation with Warren (again, assuming he returns), Jonathan Fanene, Myron Pryor, Brandon Deaderick, Ron Brace and others on the interior of the line.
Likelihood Reyes Is Available at No. 27
There's a very good chance. Reyes looks like an early second-round prospect who might sneak into the first round.
Each day in April, NESN.com will spotlight a player the Patriots could take with one of their first-round picks.
Saturday: Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones
Monday: Boise State outside linebacker Shea McClellin