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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Seahawks Could Select Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus In First Round

The Seattle Seahawks are looking for the best way to improve their roster via the 2012 NFL Draft. They will have excellent placement in the first round, so there are many different options they will have available to them.

In their latest NFL Mock Draft, the analysts over at Draft Tek suggest that the Seahawks will target a defensive end in the first round. Draft Tek suggests that the Seahawks will select Illinois Fighting Illini DE Whitney Mercilus as the No. 11 overall pick. Here is their take:

The CMD sticks with Mercilus again, slotting him into the 11th overall pick for the 2nd week in a row. The Hawks simply have to find a way to upgrade their anemic pass rush. Outside of Chris Clemons, it seems nobody can get to the opposing quarterback . . . and that's why it's extremely likely that Carroll will be targeting someone who can get into the backfield and help the Seahawks D rack up more than a mediocre 33 sacks in a season. Could the man with arguably the best last name in football since Dick Butkus be just the guy Carroll is looking for? If college production is any indicator, then Mercilus will have no problem as he posted 16 sacks and had the 2nd highest number of forced fumbles in a season in NCAA history (9). Mercilus would probably be tasked with taking over Raheem Brock's duties (who is unlikely to return) in his first year and would be used in 3rd down packages opposite of Clemons in order to improve the pass rush from both sides.

The Seahawks could certainly stand to improve their pass rush and Mercilus was one of the few players who impressed in the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. It would appear to be a good match.

For all news and information regarding the Seattle Seahawks, please visit Field Gulls. For complete coverage of the 2012 NFL Draft, head on over to Mocking the Draft.