My Thoughts on All Things NFL Draft

Whitney Mercilus Scouting Report

Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 261


  • Good height and solid overall size
  • Solid array of pass rushing moves
  • Unblockable as a junior, had an all-time great season for a DE
  • Naturally strong
  • Is able to anchor and hold his own at the point of attack
  • Very good bull rush
  • High motor
  • Great hand use, able to disengage from blockers
  • Plays with great leverage
  • Able to dip his shoulder and get the corner
  • Experience at both end positions


  • One year wonder
  • Poor instincts
  • Can get upfield too far and be run under
  • Not as fast as many would have you believe
  • Not very fluid
  • Doesn’t look good in space

NFL Comparison: Brian Orakpo

Whitney Mercilus exploded onto the scene as a junior and led the nation in sacks (16) and forced fumbles (9). Mercilus was virtually unblockable all season and he picked up a sack-fumble against Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin, all of which boasted above average players at the OT position this year. Mercilus broke Simeon Rice’s school records. As productive as he was this year, one has to wonder why he couldn’t crack the lineup the last two seasons on a team that isn’t exactly bursting with talent. Mercilus has an array of pass rushing moves and when he diagnoses the play correctly, he really gets off the snap quick. He often seems timid, however, second guessing his instincts which causes him to get off the snap slower than you’d like. While Mercilus is a productive pass rusher, he has shown zero ability to play in space at the next level and doesn’t seem to possess the qualities of your typical OLB convert, lacking fluidity and top-level athleticism. For this reason, his best fit is at defensive end in an even front.

Career Stats

Year Games Tackles TFL Sacks FF
2011 13 57 22.5 16 9
2010 13 16 3 1 2
2009 11 8 3.5 1 0

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