Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com unveils his post-combine mock draft and he envisions a Smith-based scenario for the Patriots.
At No. 17, Prisco gives the Patriots defensive end/outside linebacker Aldon Smith of Missouri.
"The pass rush has to improve from the outside and this kid can move from defensive end or rush outside linebacker in the Patriots' scheme," he writes.
Then, at No. 28, Prisco envisions a scenario where the Patriots select receiver Torrey Smith of Maryland.
"The playoffs taught us how much they missed the deep speed. Smith has that," he writes.
ANALYSIS: Aldon Smith could be exactly what the Patriots need to boost their pass rush, although I think it will be tough for Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio and Co., to pass on three defensive ends in this scenario -- J.J. Watt of Wisconsin, Cameron Heyward of Ohio State and Cameron Jordan of California. Of the four players, Smith is the riskiest projection when considering how he might fit in the Patriots' scheme, so the question would be if the Patriots are willing to roll the dice a bit vs. a potentially safer choice. At No. 28, arguably the hottest topic of the Patriots' offseason comes into focus -- do they need a deep receiver? The receiving corps looked good in the final eight games of the season when the Patriots were scoring 30 or more points in each outing, before things took a wrong turn in the playoff loss to the Jets. I think the Patriots would focus on other areas in this scenario, starting with the offensive line.