Fearless, Remorseless... Mercilus

Whitney Mercilus vs Wisconsin 2011 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)

Whitney Mercilus vs UCLA (via JmpasqDraftjedi)

DE, Illinois
6-4, 265, 4.68 forty, 1.57 split
2011: 22.5 TFL, 16 sacks
I was oce one of Mercilus' staunchest critics. I thought he had a power-based game with an inability to change direction or disengage. My main beef though was that he was obviously over-reliant on his power game. I saw him time and again go straight at opposing OTs and push them around, all the while using very little technique and exhibiting an apparent lack of instincts. I initially thought that there was no way this guy was going to be able to push guys around like that at the next level. Yes, he's poweful. There's no denying that. But I didn't think he was strong enough to move around NFL OTs. NFL OTs will outweigh him by 40 or more pounds and they'll be much more athletic to boot. But after watching Mercilus push around the Wisconsin O-line, I've changed my mind.

Mercilus plays with freaky strength. Not only is it rare that he gets moved off his spot, but it's also a rare occasion that he doesn't move his man backwards. But his strength isn't his only attribute. And thats what makes him such a delicous prospect. Most of his other weapons have yet to have been unsheethed.

Mercilus is long and athletic. He has very long arms, and just about every time I saw him use them effectively he was getting serious pressure, if not a sack. He also has long legs and good speed. The 1.57 split shows that he has good get-off ability. The long legs and good speed show that he can close quick when he gets the corner. The 16 sacks show that he can definitely close. The problem is he's really really raw. I see very little technique. He got over in college using his strength and power, so he used it. I can't say that I blame him. It worked. Not even the behemoths at Wisconsin could handle his strength. And those guys maul everybody. He powered his way to leading the nation in sacks. Can't really knock him for that. What's scary is that he hasn't even scratched the surface.

The tools are all there and if he puts it all together, he can be a force to be wreckoned with. The length, the burst, the speed, the strength, the power... Just improving his hand-technique a little bit will make him really tough to handle. If he adds a few moves... forget about it. And I think that standing him up on the edge will make him a freak. [Some looks of him standing in the UCLA clip. See 0:16, 0:40, 1:35, 2:16, 4:28, 4:53, 5:40, 6:25]. He has the speed and burst to win the edge, and he can easily transition that to power to create a push into the pocket. Just standing him up at OLB as raw as raw can be will make him really hard to handle. Imagine him standing and having some hand technique at his disposal. This dude could turn out to be one bad mofo.
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