Would Bill Walsh have drafted Whitney Mercilus?

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Would Bill Walsh have drafted Whitney Mercilus?

The Bears are looking to land an impact edge pass rusher somewhere in the draft, possibly with their first pick at or around No. 19. One of the names being considered is defensive end Whitney Mercilus, who recorded 16 sacks last season for Illinois.

The late Bill Walsh, renowned for draft success in building the San Francisco 49ers dynasty, would have advised caution.

Nothing personal about Mercilus, a young man of solid character and good on-field attitude.

But Walsh had a belief that one-year wonders (Mercilus had one sack in each of his two previous seasons) were not where you should go, with the hope that the jaw-dropping one season will be the norm.

Walshs commandment: "Never take the one-year wonder and look forward; take the one-year wonder and look back."

NFL.coms Mike Lombardi, longtime NFL executive and one who worked with Walsh, explained that and five other draft axioms followed by Walsh.

Lombardi explains the one-year issue:

After Walsh was burned by a one-year wonder in the 1987 draft -- Clemson running back Terrence Flagler -- he became skeptical of limited track records. If a good coach was unable to get a player to produce before his final season with the program, how could he expect to get consistent effort at the NFL level? In a similar vein, former Georgetown coach John Thompson has explained a scenario on the recruiting trail that I love to reference. When the parents of a prospective recruit would ask Thompson to make sure their son attended classes, despite his spotty attendance in high school, Thompson always responded with a simple question: "If you can't get him to go, what makes you think I can?"

Thompsons perspective is notable as well. Coaches and talent evaluators can fall into over-believing in themselves and their ability to get something out of a player that no one else ever did that somehow the player will be better under them than he ever was before.

It can happen; players have been in wrong systems (Brett Favre under Jerry Glanville was never going to see the field).

But is a player like Chandler Jones, an edge rusher with 10 sacks over his three years at Syracuse, going to step into the NFL and start producing 10 a year?

Jared Allen had 4-6.5-10.5-17.5 in his four seasons at Idaho State (he lasted until the fourth round). Reggie White still holds the Tennessee records for sacks in a game, season and career. Bill Tobin scouted Richard Dent at Tennessee State and came away convinced hed seen the best pass rusher the Bears would ever have.

Not that a one-year flash cant be a keeper. Some players take longer to fully develop physically or maybe a light finally went on.

But buyer beware..

Richard Lagow sets Hoosiers' passing record, also throws five picks in loss to Wake Forest

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Richard Lagow sets Hoosiers' passing record, also throws five picks in loss to Wake Forest

It was a day of highs and lows for Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow.

The explosiveness that was ever-present under Lagow's predecessor, Nate Sudfeld, came back in a big way Saturday, with Lagow throwing for a school-record 496 yards. But he also pitched a dreadful five interceptions in the Hoosiers' 33-28 loss to the visiting Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Bloomington.

Lagow's huge yardage total was accompanied by three touchdown tosses as the Hoosiers' broke the 600-yard mark on offense, finishing with 611 total yards. But those five interceptions compared to zero turnovers by the Deacons, who had a huge edge in time of possession, meant no positive result for the Hoosiers.

Indiana scored on the first play of the game, Lagow hitting Nick Westbrook for a 75-yard touchdown immediately after the opening kickoff. But Lagow threw an interception on the Hoosiers' next possession, which led to a Wake touchdown. In the second quarter, Lagow's second interception was returned for a touchdown, and he threw another on the ensuing possession, though that one didn't result in any Wake points. Indiana also missed a field goal in the second quarter, with Wake scoring on the next drive to make it 21-7 at the break.

Lagow's fourth interception turned into a Demon Deacons touchdown, but he hit Westbrook for their second scoring connection of the day to make it 24-14. Wake added a field goal before the teams traded touchdowns straddling the third and fourth quarters. Lagow threw one more interception and one more touchdown pass (that one a 49-yard strike to Donavan Hale in the final seconds), but the Hoosiers couldn't complete a comeback, running out of time.

Wake mustered just 352 total yards, but Lagow's trouble keeping the ball out of the Deacons' hands gave Wake a significant boost.

The loss was Indiana's first of the season, dropping its record to 2-1. The Hoosiers face off against Michigan State next weekend.

Michigan dominates on both sides of the ball in runaway win over Penn State

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Michigan dominates on both sides of the ball in runaway win over Penn State

Wisconsin might have scored Saturday's most impressive win, but Michigan made a statement of its own, setting up another colossal conference clash next weekend in Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines welcomed in the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday, albeit rudely, dominating on both sides of the ball in a blowout 49-10 win.

This one was over from the very start, Michigan clamping down on defense and putting on an offensive clinic with short fields.

Wilton Speight led touchdown drives on each of the Wolverines' first three offensive possessions, the first set up thanks to an eye-popping Jabrill Peppers punt return. Khalid Hill finished that one off with a short touchdown run, and after the Lions turned it over on downs, De'Veon Smith punched it in for a score. Speight made it 3-for-3 with a touchdown toss to Devin Asiasi for a seemingly insurmountable 21-0 lead in the second quarter.

Michigan kept their early punt-less streak intact by turning it over on downs on its next offensive possession but followed that up with a touchdown on the next, Karan Higdon rushing in for the score to make it 28-0 before halftime.

Penn State punted five times in the first half, turning it over on downs on another drive for an 0-for-6 mark over the first 30 minutes as the Michigan defense dominated. The Lions finally got on the board with a third-quarter field goal and added a touchdown in the fourth to send their point total into double digits. But the Wolverines added another three touchdowns of their own in the second half, Chris Evans rushing in for a score, Higdon getting his second touchdown scamper of the day, the second from 40 yards out, and Ty Isaac getting the final points of the game.

The Michigan defense had a monster day, holding Penn State to just 191 total yards, including only 70 on the ground and 2.5 yards per carry, and came away with a pair of takeaways.

Meanwhile, the Wolverines racked up 515 yards of offense, including 326 yards rushing. Five different players scored a rushing touchdown, with Higdon scoring two. Smith finished with 107 yards rushing, Higdon had 81 yards and Isaac had 74. Speight had a fine day, too, completing 21 of his 33 passing attempts for 189 yards and a touchdown.

The win sent Michigan to 4-0 on the season, and the Wolverines have that huge matchup with the Badgers next weekend.

Penn State, meanwhile, fell to 2-2 with the defeat and faces Minnesota next weekend.