Whitney Mercilus Scouting Report DL Illinois Fighting Illini

Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois is having a huge season, will his draft slot correspond?

This is our Whitney Mercilus scouting report. Mercilus has burst onto the scene this year and put himself in the conversations to be drafted in the first two rounds of the 2012 N.F.L. draft. For all of our other scouting reports go to our scouting report page
Measurables

6’4 261 pounds, 33 7/8″ arms, 9.25″ hands

4.68 forty yard dash, 27 bench press reps, 32″ vertical, 118″ broad jump, 7.17 3 cone drill, 4.53 twenty yard shuttle

Stats

2011:

Tackles
G Solo Assisted Total Total/G
13 28 29 57 4.38
Tackles For Loss
G TFL TFL Yards TFL/G
13 22.5 123 1.73
Sacks
G Sacks Sack Yards Sacks/G
13 16.0 105 1.23
Misc. Defense
G Passes Broken Up QB Hurries Fumbles Forced Kicks/Punts Blocked
13 1 6 9 0

2010:

Tackles
G Solo Assisted Total Total/G
13 8 8 16 1.23
Tackles For Loss
G TFL TFL Yards TFL/G
13 3.0 11 0.23
Sacks
G Sacks Sack Yards Sacks/G
13 1.0 7 0.08
Misc. Defense
G Passes Broken Up QB Hurries Fumbles Forced Kicks/Punts Blocked
13 1 2 2 0

Pros

Effort, effort, effort, and active hands..When he commits to rushing the passer he gets off the snap and can fairly quick get around the edge…consistently plays with good leverage…dips under tackle well…active hands..uses a spin move with some success, but needs more moves… does a good job of getting the football from the quarterback on sacks….Illinois moves him around the line as he plays both LDE and RDE…good motor…consistent production In 2011, he’s just been absolutely un-blockable for the majority of the season (tackles for loss in all game except vs South Dakota State, sacks in all game except vs Purdue through 11/18/2011)

Cons

Often looks late off the snap (hesitation or he’s slow to react when the ball is snap)…I’m not a proponent of him playing OLB and consider him a promising 43 DE, probably best suited at right defensive end…can get too wide in his rush, and especially in the run game…not instinctive, which slows down his playing speed at times…he can be run at…Needs to work on making plays down the line…Doesn’t drop back into coverage and that’s an area he’ll really have to work on if he’s going to be drafted be a 34 OLB

Player comparison

Round Projection: 1st round

Thoughts

There is a lot to  like about Mercilus, but he still has some ways to go before he’s contributing on a consistent basis at the N.F.L. level. It’s remarkable how many plays he makes because sometimes it looks like he is playing slow, but that’s to be expected 2011 is the first season in which he really has seen significant time on the field and being relied on, the more he plays the more comfortable he will be. When he commits to rushing the passer pre-snap you can see how explosive he can be coming off the edge. His best feature is clearly his ability to play with a consistent leverage and his active use of his hands. I think he lacks the fluid and athleticism to drop back into coverage and play outside linebacker in a 34 at the N.F.L. level and I hope a team doesn’t draft him expecting that, but it’s possible they will. I hope he gets a chance to play Defensive end because I think he can be a pretty good RDE for a 43 team. He has pretty good bulk for a guy his size and I think he could even add more to his frame, to help him anchor against the run, but even if he doesn’t he can be a pretty good N.F.L. player and early in his rookie season can be counted on to be a situational pass rusher.

Bio

2010: Played in all 13 games, making two starts … Had 16 tackles, 3.0 TFLs, one sack, two hurries, two forced fumbles and one PBU in 2010 … Recorded two tackles, one TFL and forced a fumble in Texas Bowl win over Baylor … Had a tackle and a QB hurry against NIU … Made first career start against SIU, tallying his first solo QB sack, 2 TFLs, a forced fumble, a QB hurry and a PBU.

Video

Vs Ohio State (watch him when he lines up vs Mike Adams, another highly projected player)

AloAloysius (draftbreakdown.com)

Vs Arizona State University JMpasq (draftbreakdown.com)

Topics: Fighting Illini, Illinois, Scouting Reports, Whitney Mercilus Scouting Report

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