Whitney Mercilus 2012 Scouting Report
Player Name: Whitney Mercilus
As a first year starter in his redshirt junior season, Whitney Mercilus took the Big Ten by storm. He finished with 13.5 sacks on the season, after having just one in his previous two seasons a piece, while also forcing eight fumbles.
He played in every game since his redshirt freshman season, but only had a handful of starts before coming in and dominating the Big Ten in 2011.
Mercilus’ speed is what really made him special in his junior campaign. Athletic build with very solid lateral ability, and room to grow.
Shows proper intangibles, having good instincts, staying home to keep contain, and being able to set the edge consistently. Really grew as a player in 2011.
Very quick off of the edge and can beat numerous tackles, and dips his shoulder underneath to get around well. Does well tackling in space, helping his case for moving outside in a 3-4.
Displays raw ability to get to the quarterback.
Lacks anything more than a speed rush, with no inside move, weak usage of hands, and stands too tall at the point of attack at times.
Could afford to bulk up, and his inexperience shows quite a bit on some plays, more specifically in the beginning of the 2011 season.
Will need to work on shedding blocks, struggling to get off once he’s engaged, and will get blocked by tight ends.
Mercilus was brave for coming out a year early after being a candidate to repeat his double digit sack performance at Illinois.
But his stock began to soar, and he opted to come out and prove his worth in the NFL, which he has the raw ability to succeed.
Much like Aldon Smith, Mercilus relies on speed and raw ability, and have room to grow. Mercilus could become a force as a pass rusher at the next level, and will likely move outside in a 3-4.
NFL Comparison: Aldon Smith
Video courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com