This game features my number one choice for our 1st round pick, Whitney Mercilus. My number one choice did not disappoint. Besides Mercilus, Illinois featured WR A.J. Jenkins, and S/CB Tavon Wilson. UCLA had Tony Dye, but he was deemed ineligible due to academics.
Whitney Mercilus DE/OLB: As I stated above, Mercilus is my favorite prospect this year. I will be very disappointed if he doesn't declare for the draft. He has been a complete monster all year long. This game was no different. Mercilus had a never ending motor, and is a freakishly athletic pass rusher. He was double teamed all game, and sometimes, was even able to fight through those. Mercilus ended the game with 5 tackles, 4 for a loss, and 2 for sacks. His stats for the year are: 57 tackles, 22 for a loss, 16 sacks, 1 pass broken up, 6 QB hurries, and 9 forced fumbles. The GGM Round Prediction: 1-2
Tavon Wilson S/CB: I didn't see anything from Wilson to suggest he is the answer to our safety problems at all. He spent most of the game up near the line, and was very good against the run. On the other hand, whenever he was thrown into coverage, he looked lost. He ended the game with 7 tackles, and 1 for a loss. His stats for the season are: 81 tackles, 6.5 for a loss, 1 INT, 1 sack, 6 passes broken up, 1 QB hurry, and 1 forced fumble. The GGM Round Prediction: 5-6
A.J. Jenkins WR: A.J. is Illinois' big play guy on offense. In this game he struggled a bit. UCLA has some good young talent in their secondary, but A.J. should have been able to get some kind of separation. He was swarmed all day, and not even in double coverage. Near the end of the game he turned it on to make a big play for a TD. His late game, playmaking ability reminds me of Santonio Holmes. His inability to separate also does unfortunately. He ended the game with 80 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD, and 16 rushing yards. His stats for the year are: 1276 receiving yards, 8 receiving TDs, and 26 rushing yards. The GGM Round Prediction: 3-4