10 possible Pats: Kendall Reyes

In the days leading up to the NFL draft, ESPNBoston.com will identify players who project as solid fits for the Patriots:

Player: Kendall Reyes (Reyes was recently on ESPN Boston Radio -- check out the podcast here)

School: Connecticut

Position: Defensive line

Listed height/weight: 6-foot-4, 299 pounds

Scouts Inc. rank: 5th

Draft projection: Late first round/second round

Why he’s on our list: Drafting and developing big, athletic defensive linemen is good business. The Patriots haven’t decisively filled the right defensive end void created when Richard Seymour was traded in 2009 and Reyes could potentially fit that spot. He is one of the cleaner prospects in the draft when combining on-field and off-field evaluations.

Recommended link: Reyes is in line to become the first player from Nashua, NH to be selected in the NFL Draft since Greg Landry in 1968, which Joe Marchilena of the Nashua Telegraph details (link here).

Key stat: Was at UConn for five years, as 2007 was a redshirt season, making him one of the more polished defensive linemen in this year’s class.

Workout stat: Ran a 4.95 in the 40-yard dash, an excellent time for someone his size.

Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.: At 6-foot-4 and 299 pounds, Reyes is the prototypical 5-technique in a base three-man front. In addition to his frame he has the arm length (33.3-inches) and upper-body strength (benched 225 pounds 36 times) to lock out and control blockers making him an effective two-gap run defender at end. While he doesn’t have the closing speed teams covet in edge rushers, he uses his quick first step to get under offensive tackles and he has the lower body strength to drive them back to the quarterback once he establishes position. Reyes can also kick inside to defensive tackle. He is carrying a little too much weight right now and he’s never going to be a massive space eater on the inside. However, his quickness can give interior offensive linemen problems and he’s tough enough to hold up at 3-technique even if he sheds some pounds. Finally, there’s a lot to like about his intangibles considering that he is a two-time captain and three-year starter whose production improved with each year."