2012 Cincy Jungle Mock Draft - The Seattle Seahawks Select....

Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Whitney Mercilus does the shuttle run during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

With the 23rd overall pick in the 2012 Cincy Jungle Mock Draft, Jerod Egner selected for the Seattle Seahawks, who got this pick by trading back, giving up their pick to the Detroit Lions. They also earned the Lions' second-round pick and special teamer Ashlee Palmer.

With the 23rd overall pick in the 2012 Cincy Jungle Mock Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select....

Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

The Seattle Seahawks need to start sacking some quarterbacks, and Whitney Mercilus is a man who does just that. Priority number one for me heading into this mock was to improve the Seahawk's pass rush. As I watched the two best pass rushers rush right off the board before my original pick at #12, I was looking at taking the 3rd best player at a particular position just outside the top 10. Not only that, but I was also heavily conflicted as to who that 3rd best player was.

I seriously considered taking either Mercilus or Courtney Upshaw at 12, and while I think fans of the team would be happy with either player, I felt that both were a slight reach there. Failing an attractive trade offer, I'd have flipped a coin and bit the bullet. Luckily, the Lions swooped in and offered a trade that was fair to both sides. For my 12th pick, I received the Lions 24th, their 54th, and back up LB Ashlee Palmer (a position where Seattle could use some depth help). Considering I was able to get a player that I may have taken at pick 12, I'm very happy with my decision to trade down.

Mercilus may be a little more raw/unproven than Upshaw, but his talent is absolutely undeniable. 2011 was his first year as a full time starter and he proved himself to be a playmaker of the highest caliber, recording 16 sacks (led the nation), 9 forced fumbles (led the nation), and 57 tackles, 22.5 of which were for a loss. He's technically sound, with a good repertoire of pass rushing moves, and is an above average run blocker to boot.

The biggest question mark associated with Mercilus, which is undoubtedly the reason he was here for the taking at pick 24, is his status as a one-year wonder. His lack of starts and meteoric rise in production are reminiscent of Jason Pierre-Paul, who most would say has worked out relatively well for the Giants. JPP had the advantage of going to a stacked defensive line, though...an advantage Mercilus will not have.

The Seahawks had a fairly woeful pass rush last year, generating only 33 sacks and ending up in the bottom half of the league in that category. Chris Clemons was arguably their only productive player in terms of getting to the QB, and he's 31 years old and will be a FA next year. Despite this, they were a top 10 defense overall, and Mercilus' pass rushing and all-around playmaking ability should be enough to make this talented young defense truly intimidating.

Whitney Merciles Highlights:

Joe Goodberry Instant Analysis:

Seattle traded back from pick 12 and still gets a player who was probably in consideration for their original pick. Whitney Mercilus is a one-year-wonder that really had a special year. The sky is the limit as a pass rusher. Seattle will use him as a hybrid DE/OLB in their mixed scheme. I don't know if I like that situation for him.
Grade: B
Value: +2

Draft Overview:

# Team Picked By Name/Positon of Pick
1 Indianapolis Alex Neyer Andrew Luck QB
2 Washington David Farrelly Robert Griffin III QB
3 Minnesota Palewook Matt Kalil OT
4 Cleveland Jason Garrison Justin Blackmon WR
5 Tampa Bay Andrew Bernius Morris Claiborne CB
6 St. Louis Jim0ijk Quinton Coples DE
7 Jacksonville AK513 Melvin Ingram DE
8 Miami Dan Lockhart Trent Richardson RB
9 Carolina Jason Blanton Luke Kuechly LB
10 Buffalo Casey Penn Michael Floyd WR
11 Kansas City Kenneth Taylor David DeCastro OG
12 Detroit (projected trade) Andrew Perrotta Stephon Gilmore CB
13 Arizona Dan Wolford Riley Reiff OT
14 Dallas Joshua Foster Michael Brockers DT
15 Philadelphia Travis Parker Mark Barron S
16 New York Jets Kenneth Taylor Courtney Upshaw OLB
17 Cincinnati (from Oakland) Jason Garrison Dre Kirkpatrick CB
18 San Diego Anthony Knox Fletcher Cox DE
19 Chicago Steve Whited Kendall Wright WR
20 Tennessee Jeff Welch Nick Perry DE
21 Cincinnati Jason Garrison Cordy Glenn OG
22 Cleveland (from Atlanta) Jason Garrison Ryan Tannehill QB
23 Seattle (projected trade) Jared Egner Whitney Mercilus DT
24 Pittsburgh Jason Garrison
25 Denver Jared Morgan
26 Houston Brett Kollman
27 New England (from New Orleans) Anthony Knox
28 Green Bay Travis Castleman
29 Baltimore Jason Garrison
30 San Francisco Chris Brown
31 New England Anthony Knox
32 New York Giants Matt Leitner
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