Illinois' Mercilus to enter draft early

Illinois junior defensive end Whitney Mercilus will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, the school announced on Tuesday.

Mercilus, a consensus first-team All-American, led the country with 16 sacks this season and tied Simeon Rice for Illinois' single-season record. He also broke the Big Ten's single-season record with nine forced fumbles and was ranked second in the country with 22.5 tackles for loss.