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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Houston Texans Go To Linebacker Well At No. 26

The 2012 NFL Draft is undeniably deep in at least two places: Life-Changingly Great Quarterbacks, and Defensive Ends Who Might Be Linebackers. The second one poses a particular challenge for writers working on a 2012 NFL Mock Draft, even on draft day: What's to be done when a team might be interested in, say, Whitney Mercilus and Shea McClellin and Nick Perry? Answer: Guess. That's why I've got the Houston Texans taking Whitney Mercilus of Illinois—because they have to take one of those guys.

Over at SpreeGoogs they have the Texans taking Stephen Hill, which is a much stranger, potentially fascinating pick, but I'm more boring than that. SB Nation's suggested Kendall Wright might also be an option. But if they root around in the bag of potential defensive difference-makers for a while, they're likely to find something they like; let's just hope they don't accidentally grab the one who's been sitting around at the bottom too long.

SB Nation St. Louis's 2012 NFL Mock Draft is moving from No. 1 to 32 as we count down to the real draft. You can follow along at our draft storystream, or read more mock draft recaps in our mock draft analysis storystream.

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SB Nation St. Louis 2012 NFL Mock Draft
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No. 27 overall, New England Patriots