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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Michael Brockers and Whitney Mercilus Mocked To New England Patriots

in the latest SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, Ryan Van Bibber has defensive end Michael Brockers from LSU and linebacker Whitney Mercilus of Illinois going to the New England Patriots in the first round.

It's clear Van Bibber feels the wide receivers aren't good enough at this point to draft a young replacement for Deion Branch. It's also a solid plan of attack to refortify the defense, which needs a serious dose of youthful ability.

Brockers might be a little bit of a pipe dream at the 27th slot, but it's possible with the way draft stocks rise and fall this time of year. Some have him going off the board in the top ten and others, like Van Bibber, see him falling a long way.

Mercilus is a boom or bust type pick that Belichick could turn into a star. The Illinois product only had one really good season in college, but shows the type of ability that could just classify him as a late bloomer.

For more on the Patriots, be sure to check out Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston for all the latest news and notes.