We mentioned earlier this week that the three players UConn sent to the NFL Combine -- Kendall Reyes, Kashif Moore and Dave Taggert -- came out the other side better than they went into it. Moore probably did the most to boost his draft stock, but Reyes, a 6-4, 300-pound defensive lineman, impressed onlookers with his speed and quickness.
And it's reflected in the latest rankings from ESPN.com's draft analyst Mel Kiper. Reyes is now the 22nd-ranked player on Kiper's big board.
"A really powerful player, Reyes will occupy blocks and can play effectively in either scheme. I considered him a late fit in the first round in my previous mock, and he tested out well to confirm that standing for me."
Kiper also lists Reyes as one of the combine winners noting that he still considers the former UConn star a first-rounder.
Meanwhile, NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang, writing for CBSSports.com, has Reyes ranked 26th on his draft board.
"I thought Reyes was the most impressive defensive tackle at the Senior Bowl, and after going back and reviewing his tape since returning from Mobile, I believe Reyes is arguably the draft's most underrated defensive lineman," Rang wrote Friday. "His power, burst and size (6-4, 300) makes him a candidate for 4-3 and 3-4 teams and, as such, a legitimate first-round candidate."
It's encouraging news for Reyes, who some considered a first-round prospect before his senior season only to have him slip on imaginary draft boards as the Huskies struggled to a 5-7 record.
Now with strong showings at his pro day and individual team workouts, Reyes has a realistic shot of being one of the first 32 players drafted in April -- and the latest UConn alum to earn the honor.