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2012 NFL Draft: Jaguars Show Interest In Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus

Per the Chicago Tribune, Jaguars defensive line coach, Joe Cullen, had dinner with Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus on Monday night. Also according to the Tribune, Cullen led the pass rushing drills for Mercilus at his Pro Day this afternoon. Also, according to Jeremy Werner of, the Jaguars were one of five teams with multiple representives at the Illini Pro Day.

Mercilus, 21, was a relatively unknown player entering the 2011 season, but had a very productive junior campaign and led the nation in both sacks (16.0) and forced fumbles (nine). He also finished second in the nation in tackles for loss with 22.5.

Also reportedly showing interest in Mercilus at his Pro Day were the Chargers and Bears. 29 of the 32 NFL teams were in attendance for the Illinois Pro Day that also featured offensive tackle Jeff Allen and wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, both of whom should be mid-round draft picks.