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BBV Community Mock Draft: Chargers Select ... Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

We are up to the 18th pick of the first round in our Big Blue View 2012 Community Mock Draft. 'CharlesL' is playing the role of Chargers general manager for us. Perhaps he can do a better job than A.J. Smith, the real GM. Here is his selection.

No. 18, San Diego Chargers -- Whitney Mercilus, DE, University of Illinois

The Chargers are a team that has historically drafted based upon perceived positions of need. This year, however, not only have they managed to sign players that could be considered "starting-caliber" at all those positions (OT, OLB, and WR), the Chargers have a choice of several great prospects that are also perfect schematic fits. Dre Kirkpatrick, Whitney Mercilus, and Jonathan Martin all follow the Chargers' height-weight-speed model and would be able to start or compete for a rotation spot from Day 1.

In the end, I had to choose Whitney Mercilus, the endbacker out of the University of Illinois. Though I would have loved to pick Jonathan Martin, the Chargers have not taken an offensive lineman in the 1st round since James Fitzpatrick in 1986(!), and with the glut of OT prospects this year, I doubt that's changing.

Mercilus is an extremely athletic player with blazing speed, incredible strength, a quick first step, and the agility to drop into coverage. His only knock is questions about his status as a one-year wonder. For a team like the Chargers that only had a single player with over 4 sacks, Whitney Mercilus, the nation's leader in sacks (16) and fumbles (9), is just way too good to pass up. -- CharlesL

-- 'Pat19' is up next for the Chicago Bears. I have his pick and it will be posted a bit later today.

First Round

1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford [Drizzzy's Explanation]
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis Rams) -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor [Woogie 526's Explanation]
3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC [Tito's Explanation]
4. Cleveland Browns -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama [NYG 28's Explanation]
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU [Carmine5520's Explanation]
6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State [Pataroons' Explanation]
7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa [Ed Valentine's Explanation]
8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M [Ed Valentine's Explanation]
9. Carolina Panthers -- Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina [JINTSGM's Explanation]
10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame [bigbluethruandthru's Explanation]
11 Kansas City Chiefs -- David DeCastro, G, Stanford [Jason Pierre Pwned's Explanation]
12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina [TNYFBG's Explanation]
13. Arizona Cardinals -- Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama [ManningHam and Cheese's Explanation]
14. Dallas Cowboys -- Fletcher Cox, DE, Mississippi State [Simms-McConkey's Explanation]
15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Luke Kuechly, MLB, Boston College [JimmyK's Explanation]
16. New York Jets -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis [Plaxico Burress' Explanation]
17. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland Raiders) -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina [GiantStep's Explanation]
18. San Diego Chargers -- Whitney Mercilus, DE, University of Illinois [CharlesL]
19. Chicago Bears -- Pat19
20. Tennessee Titans -- apingicer
21. Cincinnati Bengals -- GiantStep
22. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta Falcons) -- NYG 28
23. Detroit Lions -- CCE718
24. Pittsburgh Steelers -- NYG_Slater
25. Denver Broncos -- daddyzander
26. Houston Texans -- #AHoustonGiant
27. New England Patriots (via New Orleans Saints)
28. Green Bay Packers -- Flynner
29. Baltimore Ravens -- Larry Soprano
30. San Francisco 49ers -- RealLT
31. New England Patriots -- Ryan Valentine (first round only); Second Round -- nysoldier
32. New York Giants -- Ed Valentine