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NFL Draft Report

By Joe Buscaglia

DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus, Illinois

Whitney Mercilus #85
6'4", 263 lbs., 21 years old
Akron, Ohio
57 tackles, 22.5 TFL, 16 sacks, 9 FF (1 sack in '10, 1 sack in '09)


- Disrupts the pocket in a number of ways. Displays a good swim move, and effective on inside stunts.
- Physically imposing against weaker competition.
- Hand-to-hand combat is very good.
- Production in 2011 is hard to be ignored.
- Plays some 5-technique along with his normal 7.

- Takes "setting the edge" a bit too literally at times. Strafes and brackets the play, but doesn't go after the ball carrier.
- Lineman that go high on his shoulder pads can really keep him at bay. Could struggle against tackles with a long reach.
- Out of control during some pass rushing moves. Shows imbalance.
- Little to no experience standing up and being in coverage.
- May not have the speed you'd want for a 3-4 OLB

Special Notes:
- Parents originally from Haiti
- The "one-year wonder" stigma will follow him throughout the process.

Projection: Late 1st to 2nd round
- While he does really struggle sometimes, Mercilus and his production can't be ignored. He won't take over games in the NFL, but he can be a solid 7-technique end for some team.

Twitter: @JoeB_WGR

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