Day three of the 2012 NFL Combine is the first day on the scene for prospects playing in the defensive front seven. Illinois Fighting Illini defensive end Whitney Mercilus and the rest of the defensive lineman and linebacker hopefuls are scheduled to travel to Indianapolis, register, take hospital pre-examine x-ray, attend orientation and give interviews.
Mercilus had a spectacular junior season for the Illini, but this is his chance to stand out among other blue-chip prospects on the defensive line and prove that he belongs in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Here's a look at some of the other big-name players that are in groups seven, eight and nine:
- Andre Branch, DL, Clemson Tigers
- Michael Brockers, DL, LSU Tigers
- Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona St. Sun Devils
- Quinton Coples, DL, North Carolina Tar Heels
- Fletcher Cox, DL, Mississippi St. Bulldogs
- Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama Crimson Tide
- Melvin Ingram, DL, South Carolina Gamecocks
- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College Eagles
- Whitney Mercilus, DL, Illinois Fighting Illini
- Dontari Poe, DL, Memphis Tigers
- Devon Still, DL, Penn St. Nittany Lions
- Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama Crimson Tide
You can find the full list of players invited to the 2012 NFL Combine via the NFL Combine's official website.
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.