2012 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots Select Whitney Mercilus, Jerel Worthy In Latest Mock Draft

The New England Patriots have selected Whitney Mercilus and Jerel Worthy in the latest 2012 SB Nation.com NFL Mock Draft (via SB Nation).

The Patriots took Mercilus, a defensive end/linebacker out of Illinois with the 27th pick and defensive lineman Jerel Worthy from Michigan State with the 31st pick. Here's what Ryan Van Bibber said about the Mercilus pick:

New England's defense needs many things, especially a young pass rusher to go with Andre Carter. Mercilus has the dreaded "one-year wonder" label attached to him. Labels aside, the talent is there, and the Pats can use him at a couple different spots.

Mercilus had great production last season for Illinois with 57 tackles (22.5 for loss) and 16 sacks, but as Van Bibber pointed out, he only did it for one year. In limited time in 2009 and 2010, Mercilus had two sacks, total.

Here's what Van Bibber said about the Worthy pick:

If the Patriots continue to use a significant number of four-man fronts, Worthy beefs up the interior and gives them a player capable of getting pressure on a regular basis. He can also move to the outside in the three-man front. Aside from questions about his motor, the former Spartan is more complete prospect than Devon Still, who slips to the second round in this mock.

While Worthy's stamina is a knock on the lineman, his anticipation and play recognition are superior to that of some of the players being considered at the position.

For more on the Patriots head to Pats Pulpit, and for more mock drafts, follow SB Nation Boston's StoryStream.

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