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2012 NFL Mock Draft: New England Patriots Go Defensive

In SB Nation's latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft, Ryan Van Bibber projects that the New England Patriots use their two first round picks to select Whitney Mercilus, a defensive end from Illinois, and Janoris Jenkins, a cornerback from North Alabama.

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans), Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

As much as we talk about the Patriots' needs in the secondary, they also need another pass rusher to pair with Andre Carter. They needed another pass rusher even before they lost free agent Mark Anderson. Mercilus will be a welcome addition, and a versatile one that fits in any number of the Patriots' defensive looks.

31. New England, Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Jenkins' revelations at the Combine scared off a few teams. He was at least forthcoming about his off-field issues and intention to put the past behind him. New England could certainly use his talent and coverage ability in their secondary.

Jenkins began his college career at Florida, but was dismissed from the team after a series of arrests.

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