UPDATE: Michael Buchanan was picked by the New England Patriots in the seventh round (226th pick overall) on Saturday.
A glance at five Illini who could hear their name called by an NFL team before the weekend ends. First up ...
Buchanan’s career at Illinois: Finished with 14 sacks in four seasons while making 32 starts, including all 12 last fall. Had two of his better games against Pac-12 foes UCLA (four tackles, one sack, fumble recovery in 20-14 win in Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl) and Arizona State (1 1/2 sacks in 17-14 win) during 2011 season.
In his own words: “My family is having a little get-together for me, and I’m going to watch the draft. Right now I’m not really nervous. That might change, but I feel like everything is going to take care of itself.”
Our projection: Jaguars, fifth round, 135th overall
Reasoning: Pass rusher didn’t have breakout senior season many projected, but Homewood-Flossmoor product still has the physical tools to play at the next level, especially for a team that ranked last in the NFL last season in sacks. Look for him to fit in more at an outside linebacker position at the next level instead of having his hand in the ground.