Oct 6, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive end Michael Buchanan (99) against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers deafeated the Fighting Illini 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft Illini Player Profile and Projection: Michael Buchanan

Nov 17, 2012; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Michael Buchanan (99) during the second quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Buchanan, one of the better defensive ends in the Big Ten, is a sure fire pick in the 2013 NFL draft. The question remains, though, where will he go?

At 6’5″ and 255 pounds, Buchanan could suit up for about anyone in the NFL and have an immediate impact. That statement may not sound right to many people when they look at the drop off in Buchanan’s numbers when comparing the last two seasons.

As a junior, Buchanan showed the potential he had as a defensive end, sometimes looking like a better pro prospect than last year’s first round pick Whitney Mercilus.

That all changed, however, when a fight in the off-season required Buchanan to have his jaw wired shut, leaving him on a liquid only diet.

During this time, Buchanan lost around twenty pounds, thus losing a lot of what made him a solid player the previous season.

He has the height to play the position, but needs to add weight and strength to be a better end in the NFL. He is able to get a quick first step and has a lot of flexibility against the corner routes.

He has all the tools required to be solid, but he lacks discipline. This past season, his play was slow paced, making him look lethargic and out of shape. Buchanan needs to do a better job of wrapping up quarterbacks for the sack and wrapping up guys in the backfield. He often tried to lunge at the opponents, making his tackles easy to break.

Honestly, if Michael can show the work ethic and desire to be a top player in the NFL, he will be a steal for someone in the later rounds. Given his play in 2012, Buchanan will probably be a late second day pick, but do not be surprised if someone reaches a bit for him in the earlier rounds of day two.

The Philadelphia Eagles could be an intriguing pick to take Buchanan. They could use the help lining up on defensive.  More possible landing spots for Michael Buchanan are the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Cincinnati Bengals Detroit Lions Football Illinois Fighting Illini Jacksonville Jaguars Michael Buchanan NFL Draft Philadelphia Eagles

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