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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots Select Chandler Jones And Brandon Thompson

ESPN's Todd McShay has released his latest version of his 2012 NFL Mock Draft and projects the New England Patriots will select Chandler Jones, the defensive end from Syracuse, and Brandon Thompson, the defensive tackle from Clemson with the 27th and 32nd picks, respectively.

The Patriots have two first-round picks, and while coach Bill Belichick's track record indicates he'll trade one of them, we have to project both to the Patriots until we know otherwise. Jones is an under-the-radar pass-rusher with the frame (6-5, 247) Bill Belichick likes in his DE/OLB hybrids, and he's a gifted athlete who bends the edge naturally. He's the brother of Ravens DL Arthur Jones and MMA sensation Jon Jones.

Filling a need at wide receiver would be a reach here, so Thompson becomes attractive. His motor runs hot and cold and he played much better in 2010, but Thompson can be overpowering against the run and flashes the ability to collapse the pocket as a pass-rusher. Other interior DLs who could be on the radar: Jerel Worthy (Michigan State), Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State), Devon Still (Penn State) and Dontari Poe (Memphis).

For more New England Patriots coverage, visit our team page or our blog Pats Pulpit. For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out the SB Nation blog Mocking The Draft.