As the 2012 NFL Draft approaches, opinions differ as to where Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus will be drafted. NFL.com's Chad Reuter projects that the New England Patriots will select Mercilus with the 27th pick of the first round. Here's what he has to say about that projection:
Bill Belichick may see Mercilus as a younger version of Mark Anderson, who went to the division-rival Bills as a free agent after racking up 10 sacks for New England last season. The nation's leading sacker in 2011 is expected to become the sort of hybrid end/linebacker pass rusher the Patriots prefer in their multiple-front scheme.
Mercilus finished the 2011 season with 16.0 sacks.