Mock party Wednesday: Who will Pats pick?

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Mock party Wednesday: Who will Pats pick?

Here are some of my favorite folks on who the Patriots will pick in the NFL Draft. Spoiler alert: People like UConn's Kendall Reyes. I won't tell you who the Patriots are drafting until later in the month.

On to the mocking. (We'll be updating this frequently between now and April 26.)

Evan Silva at Pro Football Talk

27. Michael Brockers, DT, LSUBrockers cant rush the passer, but has a bright future as a five-technique, 3-4 end.

31. Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State.
Flying under the radar, Quick has tools to develop into a future No. 1 receiver.

Wes Bunting, National Football Post
27. Devon Still, DT, Penn State.
He's not the most dynamic of pass rushers. However, he's a big, strong kid with a good get off, long set of arms and knows how to play the run. He's a potential anchor inside who can push the pocket and give the Patriots a lot of 3-4, 4-3 flexibility.
31. Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
New England has had to piece together their secondary this year, but in terms of talent they could certainly use an upgrade at a number of sports. Barron is a smart, instinctive safety with good ball skills, can play in the box and be effective bumping and running with tight ends underneath.

Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly
27. Kendall Reyes, DEDT, UConn
The Patriots are more than capable of stuffing the run with Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love, but they could benefit from more interior penetration, and Reyes has the traits and makeup to appeal to a coaching staff that is one of the best in the league in developing talent.
31. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took a shot on Demaryius Thomas in Denver, and with Chad Ochocinco failing to grasp the offense, the team is still in need of a legitimate vertical threat.

Don Banks, Sports Illustrated
27. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse.
Jones makes his initial appearance of the year in our first round, but he looks to be the kind of versatile talent who can play multiple spots on the Patriots defensive line. His best spot is probably as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 front, the formation that's expected to return to prominence in Foxboro this season.
31. Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn
It'd be just like the Patriots to deal out of this slot and turn it into future draft capital, but Reyes would be another versatile prospect who can handle more than one role in New England's defensive front.

Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

27. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford.

The Patriots are in good position to handle the expected retirement of Pro Bowler Matt Light at left tackle because they drafted his likely replacement -- Nate Solder -- in the first round a year ago. Martin, who protected Andrew Luck's blindside his entire career, may lack the athleticism to remain at left tackle in the NFL but could switch sides and handle the heavy pass-blocking responsibilities that would come in blocking for the Patriots.

31. Nick Perry DE, USC
Some teams are hesitant to grade Perry as a first-round prospect due to the fact that he elected to leave USC after just one highly productive season. He led the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks in a breakout junior campaign. There are scouts who do believe he's just scratching the surface of his potential and others who like him best as a defensive end rather than an outside linebacker in the 3-4. For Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Perry would likely be asked to play both positions.

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football.com

27. Courtney Upshaw, DEOLB, AlabamaIt's tough to figure out Courtney Upshaw. He's too short to be a 4-3 defensive end, and he can't cover well enough to be a 3-4 outside linebacker. As I mentioned before, I think he'll fall on Draft Day.

Maybe Bill Belichick will know what to do with him, as Upshaw projects as a good scheme fit in New England. He has the same frame as Adalius Thomas, whom the Patriots gave a big contract to once upon a time.
31. Devon Still, DEDT, Penn State.
Here's one of many front-seven upgrades the Patriots will need to make. With Albert Haynesworth gone, they need to address the front line. Devon Still could go as high as No. 15, so the Patriots are getting great value with this selection.

Russ Lande, Sporting News
27. Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
The Patriots' defense needs an infusion of young talent and Upshaw is the strong, physical outside linebacker who fits their scheme.
31. Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
The Patriots continue adding talent to their defense by drafting the powerful, versatile Worthy, who could line up all across their line.

Mel Kiper, ESPN.com
27. Kendall Reyes, DEDT, UConn

31. Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Todd McShay, ESPN.com
27. Chandler Jones, Syracuse DEOLB

31. Kendall Reyes, DEDT, UConn

Ourlads
27. Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
Barron is a big time run enforcer. All opposing wide receivers know where hes at when going across the middle. Sudden to get downhill when supporting the run. Good instincts to read and react quickly. Did not workout at the Combine due to double hernia surgery.
31. Kendall Reyes, DEDT, UConn
Reyes is a big athletic defensive lineman. OLB Zach Brown is also a consideration. As is Peter Konz a OCOG Also a trade down is a real possibility.

Pat Kirwan, CBS Sports, SIRIUS NFL
27. Kendall Reyes, DEDT, UConn
As usual the Patriots have a lot of early picks. This is the first of four in the top 62. Reyes had a very good Senior Bowl and followed that up with impressive measurables. The Patriots need playmakers in the defensive line and Reyes is that kind of player. His quickness next to the bulk of Vince Wilfork will be a nice combination. Second round No. 48 -- Shea McClellan, OLB Boise State, No. 62 Antonio Allen, S South Carolina
31. Trade with Ravens for RFA CB LaDarius Webb

NE Patriots Draft.com

13. (Acquired in trade with Arizona) Fletcher Cox, DL, Mississippi State
In exchange for picks 27 and 31, the Patriots receive this pick plus a 5th round selection from the Cardinals. A true junior, Cox is just scratching the surface of what he can do with his massive body and elite athleticism. The Patriots need some youth and talent on the defensive line and Cox is a guy that could play multiple positions for them.

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

The bumps and bruises continue to pile up for Isaiah Thomas, adding a new one to the group during Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston. 
 
The 5-foot-9 guard said he strained his right groin in the second quarter, but added that the injury won’t force him to miss any games. 
 
“I’ll be alright,” Thomas told reporters after the loss. “I’ll get treatment. I’ll be fine for Wednesday (against Orlando).”
 
The injury appeared to have happened shortly after Houston’s Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer that put the Rockets ahead 55-45.
 
At the time it didn’t seem all that serious as Thomas, who had 20 points on the night, came down and drained a 3-pointer. 
 
But after the game, Thomas acknowledged his groin did bother him during the game in which he played 33-plus minutes. 
 
“A few drives I didn’t have the lift,” said Thomas, who finished with 20 points. “It is what it is. I’ll figure it out.”
 
Thomas, who played in all 82 regular season games last season in addition to each of Boston’s 21 games this season, has dealt with an assortment of injuries including but not limited to, a swollen middle finger injury on his left (shooting) hand. 
 
Thomas, an All-Star last season for the first time, has played at an elite level that should once again position him to be represent the Eastern Conference. 
 
Following Monday’s game, Thomas is averaging a career-high 26.0 points per game which ranks ninth in the NBA along with 6.1 assists. 

Smart: 'Can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game'

Smart: 'Can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game'

The fact that the James Harden of the Houston Rockets went to the free throw line 18 times which was more than the entire Celtics roster (12 free throw attempts total) certainly fired up conspiracy theorists among Celtics Nation. 
 
But what seemed to draw the most ire was what appeared to be a 3-pointer by Avery Bradley late in the fourth quarter that was initially called a long two-pointer. 
 
And after it was reviewed by the good folks in Secaucus, N.J., they allowed the ruling to stand because there wasn’t enough proof in the many replay angles for them to overturn the original call. 
 
The missed lay-ups by Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas in the closing seconds stand out, obviously. 
 
But the 3-pointer that wasn’t a 3-pointer was one of the more talked-about topics in the Celtics locker room afterwards. 
 
“From the angle we saw, it was a three,” Boston’s Marcus Smart told reporters after the game. “We definitely thought it was.”
 
Said Jae Crowder: “I thought it was a three. Nothing we can do about it now.”
 
It was that kind of game for the Celtics, one in which plays that could go either way more often than not, went against them. 
 
And while Bradley’s questionable two-pointer certainly was a factor in the game’s outcome, as was the free throw discrepancy and the late-game misses, ultimately the blame for Monday’s loss falls upon the Celtics players who were still in position to win despite all those setbacks.

They simply didn't get it done, when it mattered.
 
Smart, who had 13 points off the Celtics bench, understands that fans like to blame the officials when a game ends like Monday’s loss to Houston. 
 
“Officials, they did their job,” Smart said. “You can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game. We made some costly plays down the stretch. Give credit to the Rockets. They made plays and executed down the stretch.”