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Mel Kiper's 2015 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Patriots Go Large

ESPN's draft guru has put down his third mock draft and has changed to a defensive player.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mel Kiper has released his third mock draft. In his first two, he had New England selecting Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates and Michigan receiver Devin Funchess. In my view, neither would be good fits in New England.

During the draft process, the Patriots have shown an interest in Coates, while Funchess has fallen out of favor. The Patriots movement away from Vince Wilfork has led Kiper to the following projection:

Iowa's defensive tackle Carl Davis.

Analysis: With the Patriots declining the option on Vince Wilfork, this pick makes a lot of sense. Davis had a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl, the question will be whether NFL evaluators believe they'll get that kind of player on a consistent basis, because Davis didn't always show that kind of ability at Iowa, where you wouldn't confuse him for a consistent disruptor against the pass.

Davis won't collapse the pocket, but he can certainly hold the point against multiple blockers in the run game, which is something the Patriots are going to miss from Wilfork. No, Davis is not Wilfork, but he has a similar profile in terms of what he does best, and he can certainly deepen the rotation. Cornerback could also be a major need here, but it's really hard to say on that one before free agency.

Kiper is matching the Patriots with a player his colleague, Todd McShay, projected to New England earlier in the offseason.

Personally, Davis is the type of player you want to have Wilfork around to help groom. Davis, like the rookie Wilfork, has questions about his motor and effort and Big Vince would be the ideal teammate to make sure there's a continuous fire on his rear end.

In this mock, Cam Erving was selected by the Broncos and an early run on defensive tackles depleted the draft of likely prospects in the second round. With the way the draft board fell, this pick would make some sense.

What do you think of this pick?