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NFL Draft 2012, Whitney Mercilus: Defensive End Hopes To Prove Himself At NFL Combine

Former Illinois Fighting Illini defensive end Whitney Mercilus is preparing for a crucial couple of months, beginning with the NFL combine, which starts this week. Mercilus is traveling to the combine on Thursday, and he's also writing about his path to the 2012 NFL draft for the Chicago Tribune.

Related: Whitney Mercilus A Risky Prospect That Could Win Big In Drills, Says Wes Bunting Of NFP

In a recent entry for the Trib, Mercilus expressed his desire to prove himself to scouts by doing whatever is necessary in workouts:

I want to show the NFL I am fluid with my movements, and that I have great hips. I heard I was getting knocked on that. I've been doing everything I can here so I'll be ready to show them I can even be an outside linebacker in a 3-4, as well a 4-3 right end. If they want me to do outside linebacker drills at the combine, I will.

I plan on doing everything there. I want to prove to everybody I am that guy to pick up.

Mercilus added that he's been working his "butt off" this offseason and believes he can be one of the top defensive ends in the 2012 draft.

For more NFL news and notes, head over to SB Nation Pro Football, and stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more Bears updates and analysis. For more in-depth analysis of the Bears, visit Windy City Gridiron. Check out Mocking The Draft's prospect rankings for a look at the bigger NFL draft picture.