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.

Report: Kings have 'assured' Cousins that he won't be traded

Report: Kings have 'assured' Cousins that he won't be traded

With the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching rumors will be swirling in every direction. 

One name that everyone is keeping an eye on is Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. But will he be on the move?

According to Cousins' agent, the Kings have assured the All-Star that he is not being traded.

The statement from Cousins' agent came less than an hour after Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Kings have recently had trade discussions involving the 26-year-old

In January CSN California reported that, barring a late change in direction by either side, DeMarcus Cousins intends to sign a $207 million extension this offseason that will keep the big man in a Kings uniform long-term.

Sources: Bulls asking for picks, young veterans in trade for Jimmy Butler

Sources: Bulls asking for picks, young veterans in trade for Jimmy Butler

NEW ORLEANS – All-star weekend is winding down and the Boston Celtics once again are seemingly at the epicenter of most trade discussions.

That’s in part because they have the pieces to help pull off a blockbuster deal for themselves, or become the third team to help facilitate a trade coming to fruition. 

But in talking with league executives and scouts this weekend in New Orleans, all agree that the Celtics are focused more on making a blockbuster-type move, rather than a deal that could make them slightly better than they are now. 

“Anything is possible as you know,” said one Eastern Conference executive. “But they’re not Toronto which is basically 'all in' this year to try and get past Cleveland. Boston’s in the thick of it all, but not pressed to do anything unless it makes them a lot better and to be frank, there aren’t a lot of those potential deals out there for them.”

That’s because the Celtics (37-20) have the second-best record in the East despite their preferred starting five (Isaiah Thomas; Avery Bradley; Jae Crowder; Al Horford and Amir Johnson) having played a very limited number of games (21) together thus far this season.

Even when everyone’s healthy, Boston understands that they still may not be enough to get past the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers. So the addition of a likely role player at the cost of one or more of their major assets (this year’s right to swap picks with Brooklyn or next year’s Brooklyn pick outright), is reason enough for Boston to pause and assess whether the benefit outweighs the cost of what they will have to give up. 

Boston can make a push for Denver’s Danilo Gallinari or his teammate Kenneth Faried who are both available and would help Boston’s overall talent base. They could also revisit Jahlil Okafor discussions or Nerlens Noel with Philadelphia, too.

But for what they need to significantly improve upon where they are now, they have to add a game-changing difference-maker to the mix. 

Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Indiana’s Paul George and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins are three players who on paper at least, would meet that criteria. 

Multiple league sources this weekend confirmed that each of their respective teams isn’t making a push to trade them. But like every team in the league, they will certainly listen to any and all offers. Only Indiana and Sacramento have come out publicly to say they are not planning to trade their players, with the Pacers indicating they’re willing to give up their first-round pick in order to add a stable, proven talent to the mix in order to help George going forward. 

Meanwhile, the Bulls have been somewhat indifferent to potentially moving Butler, who is playing his third all-star game tonight. 

That’s why several teams, the Celtics included, have inquired about Butler’s availability. While the Bulls haven’t set any specific parameters, league executives believe they are seeking some combination of high draft picks and young veterans (players with experience who are either near the end of their rookie deals or have team-friendly contracts) just to consider moving Butler.

Boston has exactly what the Bulls are looking for if they decide they are going to move on from Butler and rebuild, but how much are the Celtics willing to give up?

That more than anything else, is what will ultimately determine if a deal between the Bulls and the Celtics comes to pass. Boston loves Butler, and believes he could be part of their continued surge towards becoming an elite team that can bring home Banner 18. But the Celtics are not convinced that the addition of Butler would necessarily catapult Boston to the same level of Cleveland or ahead of them. 

Even if the Celtics decide to stand pat with its team as they are now and let the Feb. 23 trade deadline pass without making a move, the Celtics are still working from a vantage point that few teams in the NBA can work from – a team near the top of their conference with relatively young players all with good team-friendly contracts, and draft picks in the next two years that are each likely to be high lottery (top-14) picks.

"They’re well positioned for the future,” said Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors and the West all-star team. “Because of the young talent, because of the coach (Brad Stevens) and because of the draft picks that they have coming up. They could end up with the number one pick in the draft which is remarkable.”

Kerr added, “That doesn’t happen often when you’re talking about a team that’s one of the best in the league already. Boston’s in a great place.”