The Illinois Fighting Illini produced Whitney Mercilus last year.
Michael Buchanan is next in line, declaring for the draft one year after his former teammate. He might not go nearly as high as his former teammate, but he is highly rated by some draft experts.
Here are five things you need to know about him.
Full Name: Michael Buchanan
Date of Birth: January 24, 1991
Hometown: Homewood, Illinois
Year: Junior (Redshirt)
Buchanan was an excellent athlete coming out of high school. He was a 4-star (per Rivals.com) defensive end coming out of Homewood-Flossmoor High School and played on the basketball team.
As you can see, Buchanan's redshirt sophomore season sparkled. He had quite the nice 2011 campaign playing across from Mercilus and was primed to explode the following year.
An ill-advised scuffle might have short-circuited his 2012 season, however, as his production took an unexpected dip.
Weight: 255 lbs.
Arm Length: 34"
Hand Size: 9.875"
40-Yard Dash: 4.78
Bench Press: 22 at 225 lbs.
Broad Jump: 113.0"
Vertical Jump: 33.0"
Three-Cone Drill: 6.91
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.44
Buchanan had a nice showing at the NFL combine. He showcased his athleticism, even if he was only a top performer in one event—the three-cone drill.
Buchanan was a prospect on the rise after 2011.
The Illinois product seemed destined to follow teammate Mercilus to the NFL as a first-round pick. One year later, that is an unlikely result.
A big reason for this was an ill-advised fight in which Buchanan was injured. Last June, his jaw was wired shut after it was broken in the brawl.
The result was a 20-pound drop in weight. He gained it back as the season progressed, but the fight likely contributed to a lackluster senior year.
Michael Buchanan also fits as 3-4 DE if he adds little more weight. Can be playmaker. Possesses good speed. Versatile. #13Positionsin13days— Jason Davis (@RealJasonMDavis) April 19, 2013
Are Michael Buchanan and Corey Lemonier the same person? My notes on the two are almost identical.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 5, 2013
If you like watching freak defenders, Michael Buchanan (Bandit DE, Illinois) is on ESPNU right now. Scouting Report: nepatriotsdraft.com/2012/08/michae…— James Christensen (@NEPatriotsDraft) September 1, 2012
I think #illinois DE/OLB Michael Buchanan is a great day 3 value at 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE. gave Taylor Lewan a serious match in 2011.— The Draft Insider™ (@DraftInsider) April 18, 2013