Michael Buchanan: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Illinois DE

Alessandro Miglio@@AlexMiglioFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

Michael Buchanan: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Illinois DE

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    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.

    Combine results courtesy of NFL.comCollege stats courtesy of sports-reference.com


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    Full Name: Michael Buchanan

    Date of Birth: January 24, 1991

    Hometown: Homewood, Illinois

    School: Illinois

    Year: Junior (Redshirt)

    Major: Communication

    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.

Collegiate Stats

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    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.


      Tackles Interceptions
    Year Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk FF Int Yds TD PD
    2009 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
    2010 18 22 40 5.5 2 0 0 0 0 2
    2011 27 37 64 13.5 7.5 1 0 0 0 1
    2012 23 34 57 7 4.5 1 1 0 0 6
    Career 68 93 161 26 14 2 1 0 0 10

Draft Process

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 255 lbs.

    Arm Length: 34"

    Hand Size: 9.875"

    Combine Results 

    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.

Consequences of a Poor Decision

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    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. 


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    Per QueenCitySports.net's Jason Davis:

    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

    Per Bleacher Report's Matt Miller:

    Are Michael Buchanan and Corey Lemonier the same person? My notes on the two are almost identical.

    — Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 5, 2013

    Per NEPatriosDraft.com's James Christensen:

    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

    Per DraftInsiderSports.com:

    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