NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: UConn DT Kendall Reyes
|03.20.12 at 8:08 am ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2012 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
Position: Defensive tackle
Weight: 299 pounds
Achievements: UConn team MVP and Defensive Player of the Year (2011), All-Big East first team (2011, 2010)
What he brings: In a draft loaded with top-tier defensive tackle prospects, Reyes has flown slightly under the radar as combine risers and higher-profile prospects steal much of the spotlight. In other words, the two-year UConn captain is the exact type of player a Bill Belichick-led organization would be expected to seek.
Reyes is a solid, versatile, all-around player who played in multiple positions on UConn’s defensive front and could move to a 3-4 defensive end at the next level. A terrific athlete for the defensive tackle position, Reyes is solid in pursuit and is most likely one of a very limited number of 300-pounders to pull off a cartwheel into a backflip.
While it’s difficult to find a hole in Reyes’ game, there’s also not much that will blow away fans or scouts. Reyes is an unremarkable pass rusher who relies on heavily on the bull rush. Against the run, Reyes has the ability to fight off double teams and maintain his assignments inside but lacks explosiveness and isn’t known for penetrating and making huge plays in the backfield.
Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1
Notes: Some of Reyes’ critics believe that he plays a little light for the defensive tackle position. After arriving at UConn at 245 pounds, Reyes has already gone a long way into growing into the position but could still put on some weight while maintaining his quickness.
Reyes plays the run well and maintains his assignments like a nose tackle but is stuck in the body of a 3-technique and remains somewhat of a tweener. At his current weight, Reyes could very well thrive as a 3-4 defensive end who is called upon to play two-gap assignments.
Here’s Reyes in UConn’s matchup against Pittsburgh in 2010. Reyes finished with three tackles, one for loss.