|04.26.12 at 10:35 pm ET|
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Mercilus had 16 sacks and nine forced fumbles as a junior before declaring for the draft. He’s been called a one-year wonder, but so too were Jason Pierre-Paul and Aldon Smith.
We took a closer look at Mercilus while at the scouting combine in February. Click here for that story.
|04.26.12 at 10:26 pm ET|
The Patriots traded up for a second time Thursday, as they moved from No. 31 to No. 25 and get Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
This pick has Bill Belichick written all over it. Hightower played under Nick Saban at Alabama, and past drafts — notably the 2010 draft — have shown that Belichick is prone to select players who played their college ball under associates of Belichick.
|04.26.12 at 10:22 pm ET|
The Browns made a somewhat surprising move Thursday, selecting 28-year old quarterback Brandon Weeden out of Oklahoma State. The Lions followed the pick by ending Iowa tackle Riley Reiff’s slide at No. 23, while the Steelers took Stanford guard David DeCastro.
|04.26.12 at 10:07 pm ET|
The Patriots defied their track record in two ways Thursday by trading up in the first round Thursday for a pass-rusher. The Pats gave up the 93rd overall pick to move from No. 27 to No. 21 in a deal with the Bengals and draft Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones.
Bill Belichick has often shied away from pass-rushers early on in the draft, and after years of passing on the need in the first round, the Patriots have added a strong defensive end capable of getting after the quarterback. The 6-foot-5 3/8, 266 pounder is the first Syracuse player to be selected in the first round since Dwight Freeney.
The last time the Pats traded up in the first round was in 2003, when they moved up one spot to select Ty Warren.
One thing to watch with Jones is health, as he missed multiple games early on last season with a knee injury. Jones was one of the players WEEI profiled as part of our “Potential Patriots” series. Check it out here.
|04.26.12 at 10:07 pm ET|
The run on pass-rushers continued with the Bears, as Chicago chose Boise State defensive end Shea McClennin 19th overall in the NFL draft Thursday night.
The selection of McClellin really bolsters the Chicago defense, providing the perfect complement to Julius Peppers.
The Titans stayed put at No. 20 and took Kendall Wright from Baylor.
|04.26.12 at 9:54 pm ET|
The Bengals had acquired their pick from the Raiders in the trade that sent Carson Palmer to Oakland during the season.
The Chargers then opted for Melvin Ingram with the 18th pick. Crazy to think that both Ingram and Quinton Coples (16th overall to the Jets) went as late as they did.
|04.26.12 at 9:39 pm ET|
The Seahawks pulled off the biggest surprise of the draft thus far by taking West Virginia pass-rusher Bruce Irvin 15th overall.
Irvin becomes the first pass-rusher off the board, ahead of Quinton Coples and Melvin Ingram. He has exceptional speed and may be the best pure pass-rusher in this class, but he doesn’t have the bulk to do much else.
Irvin has has a very interesting story, which can be read here.
The Jets followed the pick by selecting Coples 16th overall.