Mock Party Weekend: New names in mix for Patriots


Mock Party Weekend: New names in mix for Patriots

Kendall Reyes was a popular mock pick for many experts, and still remains one for some. But his name has been replaced by some new ones -- USC's Nick Perry, Notre Dame's Harrison Smith, and Boise State's Shea McClellin to name a few. Check out who has who going where in our latest Mock Party!

(We'll be updating this frequently between now and April 26.)

Evan Silva at Pro Football Talk

27. Nick Perry, DE, USCA one-trick pony, perry slips to the pass rush-needy Pats.

31. Devon Still, DT, Penn State.
The best player left upgrades New England's interior pass rush.

Updated: 409

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.

Updated: 44

Nolan Nawrocki, 'fit-based' mock draft Pro Football Weekly
27. Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
Ron Zook clearly excelled recruiting elite pass-rushing talent at Florida and Illinois, and Mercilus falls in a similar class as Zook's two former first-round standouts, Jarvis Moss and Derrick Harvey, from a physical standpoint. Much like the two early-entry first-round picks, Mercilus has raw positional instincts, but he showed improvement as the season progressed and has the speed and length to mold and potentially make the Patriots' defensive front more multiple.
31. Harrison Smith, FS, Notre Dame
Bill Belichick could be comforted by knowing every detail about Harrison Smith dating back to the recruiting process, where his former coordinator Charlie Weis lured him to school. In a draft class very short on safeties, Smith could stand to benefit and be selected in the first round, where the Patriots seldom miss and do not shy from reaching for high-floor talent.

Updated: 410

Don Banks, Sports Illustrated
27. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse.
The Patriots have some quality options to choose from in their search for a versatile player who can play both end and outside linebacker in their 3-4 multiple-front schemes. Getting younger and more athletic in the front seven is a must this season in Foxboro.
31. Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
If the Patriots don't trade out of their second first-rounder, Worthy would be an excellent value and adds another talented and versatile prospect to New England's defensive front seven.

Updated: 411

Rob Rang,

27. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama

Despite investing several high-round picks into their secondary over the past few years, the Patriots continue to struggle to defend the pass. Kirkpatrick has greater size and physicality than any of New England's current cornerbacks and while some have concerns about his maturity, he'd likely present too much value for the Patriots to ignore at this point in the draft.

31. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
With the Patriots expected to maintain at least some elements of the 4-3 defense that served as their base scheme last year, adding talent and youth at defensive end is required. Former starter Mark Anderson left via free agency and his battery-mate, Andre Carter, is recovering from a torn quad. Jones' length, power and high-revving motor make him a natural replacement candidate.

Updated: 412

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter

27. Nick Perry, DEOLB, USCWho knows what Bill Belichick plans on doing with his two first-round picks, but if he keeps them, I can't imagine him passing on someone like Nick Perry if he drops to No. 27. Perry is a great fit for New England's scheme, as Belichick loves for his pass-rushers to be big. Remember that he gave a 270-pound Adalius Thomas a big contract years ago. Perry pretty much has an identical frame.

Perry is also an obvious choice because he fills a huge need. New England must upgrade its pass rush, especially given that neither Andre Carter nor Mark Anderson is no longer with the team.
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.

Updated: 413

Sporting News
27. Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois
New England desperately needs to upgrade its pass rush, and Mercilus can do that while also bringing a physical element to the rush defense that has been lacking.
31. Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
Worthy's combination of explosive initial quickness, strength and athleticism makes him an ideal fit in New England's defense. Bill Belichick could move him around like a chess piece.

Updated: 49

Mel Kiper,
27. Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
A player who has moved up boards during the draft process, he played with a hand on the ground at Boise State, but has enough athleticism and the smarts to transition to standing up on the edge in this type of a system. The Patriots have to work on the front seven in the draft, and McClellin is the type of heady player Bill Belichick can work with.

31. Derek Wolfe, DL, Cincinnati
Will fit best as a 3-4 DE, where he can use his size (6-5, 295) to become a disruptive pass-rusher. Not considered explosive in terms of foot speed, he plays with great leverage and can disrupt pockets by driving linemen back, demanding extra help. Another good fit for the Patriots as they add pieces up front.

Updated: 46

Todd McShay,
27. Nick Perry, DE, USC

31. Jerel Worthy, DL, Michigan State

Updated: 412

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.

Updated: 410

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. Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
It is a surprise pick. but McClellan is a Belichick-type player. Maybe he moves down for him, or maybe he takes him right here. McClellan probably reminds the Patriots of Mike Vrabel.

Updated: 410

NE Patriots

27. Shea McClellin, LB, Boise State
This seems like the classic Belichick Reach pick that ends up turning out great in the long run. McClellin might not be elite in any one area, but he can do just about everything above-average. A true four-down rookie linebacker is tough to find.
31. Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
Adding the under-rated Hosley would be a great start to upgrading the Patriots secondary. If his slight build holds up, he is going to lead the league in interceptions before you know it.

Updated: 49

Charley Casserly, NFL Network

27. Chandler Jones, DE Syracuse

After losing Mark Anderson and Andre Carter, the Pats fortify the pass rush with Jones, who has yet to reach his size potential.

31. Harrison Smith, FS, Notre Dame

I'm sure they will trade one of these two first-round picks, but Smith would help them.

Updated: 413

Peter Schrager, Fox Sports

27. Zach Brown, LB North Carolina

I may be in the minority on this one, but I think Zach Brown is a first-round pick. Pop in the Wake Forest game, Patriots fans. Youll see a guy who goes sideline to sideline, is in on every play and can intercept the pass. Hes capable of playing LB in a 3-4 or a 4-3, and gets to the quarterback. Hes the type of versatile guy the Patriots could use in multiple schemes.

31. Kendall Reyes, DT

Reyes draft stock is rising after a strong combine performance and a solid pro day. Reyes won UConn's MVP and defensive player of the year awards for his play in 2011, when he accumulated 46 tackles, including 13.5 for loss. Hed make for a nice addition to an already solid defensive line.

Updated: 49

Celtics pay tribute to Craig Sager in Tuesday's practice


Celtics pay tribute to Craig Sager in Tuesday's practice

The NBA is honoring longtime TNT broadcaster Craig Sager to begin the season, with teams wearing Sager-themed shirts across the league. 

Sager, 65, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2014, and it was announced in March that he had an expected three-to-six months to live. 

The Celtics celebrated Sager in full force at the end of Tuesday’s practice, changing into shirts with multi-colored flowers and clashing patterns in an ode to Sager’s signature style. The group gathered for pictures and shouted “Sager Strong,” a hashtag that’s circulated in support of the 65-year-old. 

After news emerged that his cancer had returned in March, TNT worked out a deal with ABC that allowed Sager to cover the NBA Finals for the first time in his 34-year career, leading to a memorable exchange with LeBron James after the Cavaliers won the NBA title. 

Brown releases statement: 'I never struck my wife, and never would'


Brown releases statement: 'I never struck my wife, and never would'

Giants kicker Josh Brown released a statement via ESPN on Thursday

Brown was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list last week after more information about his history of abusing women -- a history he admitted to in documents obtained by SNY -- came to light.

"I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way. I have taken measures to get help so that I may be the voice of change, not a statistic. It is important to share that I never struck my wife, and never would. Abuse takes many forms, and is not a gray area. Through the past several years I have worked to identify and rectify my own behaviors. The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life. My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man. In the interim, I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down."

While Brown apologized to his team, Giants owner John Mara and those who've supported him, he did not apologize to his ex-wife, Molly, or any of the other women who he, in his own words, "objectified," according to an email turned over to police. 

While Brown wanted to make clear he did not strike his wife, he did not mention the toll taken on victims of emotional or psychological abuse -- both of which he has admitted to in journal entries.

While he released a statement, there's still plenty left unsaid.