The NFL Combine concluded last week but it provided former UConn defensive lineman Kendall Reyes an opportunity to show off his skills to a wider audience. And that's exactly what happened. The 6-4, 300-pounder displayed strength and quickness, the two qualities required to consistently get into the backfield and disrupting an offense, especially in today's pass-happy NFL.
Last week, NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang, writing for CBSSports.com, had Reyes 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."
And ESPN's Mel Kiper, who had Reyes ranked 22nd on his board after the combine, has updated his latest mock draft. He has the Patriots selecting Reyes with the 27th pick.
"The Patriots know they have to get better along the defensive front, and that could come via free agency (Mario Williams?). Still, I'd be surprised if they don't target it in the draft, even though Bill Belichick never fails to make moves and surprise during the draft. Reyes provides an active run-stuffer up front, a guy that can eat up blocks and free up rushers."
Kiper also lists Reyes as the No. 4 defensive tackle available in the draft; Rang has Reyes sixth, behind Michael Brockers, Dontari Poe, Fletcher Cox, Devon Still and Jerel Worthy.
In other Huskies-related football news: the UConn pro day will be March 28. Not surprisingly, Reyes will headline the event, but it will be an opportunity for Kashif Moore and Dave Teggart (who both had impressive combine showings) to improve their draft stock, too.