*Whitney Mercilus


6-3 5/8, 261, 33 7/8” Arms, 27 Reps, 

S-1.57-1.56, 7.17 3-C! (4.63-4.65),

 32" Vert, 9'10" Broad,





The Pats Have to Draft This Guy.



I have been reluctant to do a Mercilius Tape, because usually when I do a Tape the prospects stock goes up. You watch as all the so-called experts sudden think this guy is great. He will be mysteriously rising as guy "watch the Tape" all week. What a coincidence. He will likely end up in the Teens. So I apologize Pat's fan, but I couldn;t stop myself.

The thing is, he looks thin on the field, but he plays with such power. He plays with that natural leverage that you can't teach. He can really sink his hips and drive blockers up.  To watch him the Double team by a Guard and Tackle is just so impressive. You can see that he is thin looking and can add some weight and strength to his frame. However, he already plays with such freakish strength and power, that you don't want him to bulk up too much and lose and any speed or quickness. 

I want to do the Ohio ST, because I didn’t watch the Ohio ST game. I also saw him play against Penn ST, Wisconsin, and UCLA. I was goin gto do Penn St, and leave UCLA out if it, because sometimes it not good to do their best game. However, he looked just as good in the Ohio ST game as he did in the UCLA game. Plus, it was in the UCLA game where I say up and said, “The Pats have to draft this guy.” 

He really has nice feet. Terrific burst moving forward. Short area quickness and burst is impressive. Leds FBS in Sacks with 16 and Forced Fumbles with 9.He also Led teh Big Ten in TFL with an impressive 22.5. He also garnered 47 Tackles and 1 PBU. Which is even more impressive when you realize they play a lot of 3-4, and he lines up as an undersized 5-Technique. 

Plus, he has all the intangibles you could want. He is as hard working as you want and more. "I'm a hard worker" He said on NFL.com. "I don't give up. When I set my goals. I aim for it, until I achieve it." He hustles on the field all day and night. He was a Team Captain and leader on the field. Plus, he makes plays, and not just flash plays, but 2nd, 3rd, and 4th effort plays. Smart kid, who might not make it, but it won't be because he doesn't give it everything he has. This is the type of kid you want to route for. Plus, he has that Freak Factor that I always look for. He is freakish strong and plays with freakish power at 3-4 D-End. I can't imagine what he will look like in a few years after Getting into a "nice" NFL strength and Conditioning Program. 

He does a nice job using his long arms to keep blockers off his body, and then sheds them when he read pass or run. Excellent setting the edge. Looks like a natural read and react player that fits what the Pats want to do. Excellent setting the edge and then pulling the ORT off of him when they pass. Very quick inside and make blockers miss on running plays.

Tremendous passrusher. Led FBS with 14.5 Sacks and got 1.5  more in the Bowl Game. Although it seemed he had more against UCLA. Perfect size for a 3-4 OLB. He looks like the prototype OLB for a Pat’s defense that BB has been looking for. He is tall- 6-4, stout- 260, and has those long spider arms that passrushers need so badly. He does such a nice job using his feet and hands in combination. He has a legit NFL burst off the line. 

He plays on both sides of the line. He has experience standing up. He can set the edge with his long arms and hand chopping and slapping blockers off. Plus, he was so misused at Illinois I wonder what production he would have had if he had been left on the edge. The way he was misused is another reason to like him. Illinois shifts into a 3-4 often. So you’d think they’d line him up in the 9 or 11-technique and let him use his wonderful gift on the edge to disrupt offenses. But instead, they often lined him up at D-End, and he wasn’t playing a hybrid D-End, he was lined up as a 5-technique right on the nose or inside the OLT. He was lined up like a run stuffer, not the best passrusher in college football last season. 

It also allowed him to be double-teamed by the OLT and the OLG rather than the TE or RB. This is a huge difference. Against UCLA in the Bowl game, UCLA did a great job of Passing when he was lined up at 5-Techinique and using the OLT and the OLG to give him a beating. But the good news is that he kept coming anyway. He kept moving forward towards the QB despite being doubled by two guys who both had about 50 pounds on him. And it wasn’t all speed as he was trapped a bit between the two because of where he lined up. He would try to split them, and came close to the QB a few times. Trying to Bull rush between the two, and moving them backwards. He would break outside, so the OLT would get in the way of the OLG. I was very impressed with his play as a 5-Technique, and very disappointed his coaches put him in that position. Plus, he excelled against the run. He might be the top player in this Draft who could help the Patriots. The best news is that he is rated within reach of the Patriots, which will probably change once a 3-4 coach watches him against UCLA. It may me sit up and say, "The Pats Have to Draft this guy." However, he likely will be picked in the top twenty (now that I did this foolish thing;-). 

They also sometimes stand him up sometimes, to rush from a standing position inside. He does a nice job getting inside position on the OLT when they run inside, and drag him down the line to make the tackle. I really see him as a passrushing OLB in a 3-4, but he very stout, strong, and stubborn against the run. He does such a nice job using his spider arms and hands to keep off blocker. UCLA did a great job double him to death. When he lined up outside the OLT, they used the TE. When he lined up inside the OLT they used the OG. He also played special team on the block teams. 

Excellent at taking on the double team. Uses his arms, hands, and quick feet to keep them off of him. Great hustle and team player. He is always chasing plays away from him. He does such a nice job fighting fighting and fighting, and then will sudden blast off the line, slap off hands, and Sack the QB. He is such a good hand fighter. I love passrushers who attack the arms of the blocker before the reach then and push them away before they can reach his shirt. He has that knack for grabbing the O-Tackle's forearm and make him play one-handed. Explosive Change of Direction, and can turn the corner at full speed. He has that freakish factor of changing of direction agility that is paramount to a passrusher. The great ones can always Lean and Dip around the Corner, and he has that.

On the field he is not a prima-donna. He is always out hustling everyone. He obviously loves football. He is a star who gives 100% all the time. I just don’t know how he slips out of the top ten, and this is only the third time I watched him play, and I couldn't be more impressed. He doesn't just jump off the screen, he explodes off the screen. Sometime it is easier to see a players worth when they are subbed out. When Mercilius was sub-out by 59, he was put in his position. When he lined up at the 5-techinique, he was doubled by the OLT and OLG by UCLA as they had game planned to do against Mercilius all game. They promptly drove him straight into the turf. Which helps illustrate how stout, strong, and stubborn Mercilius is inside. When his teammate tries to take on the Double team that he has been busting all game, he gets destroyed. 

He gets blocked a little too easily by TE sometimes, but is terrific against the run. He has that knack for consistently moving towards the ball. Not the best burst off the line, but it is still better than most. He has a nice shoulder club move, and actually pushes the bigger guy back. His one main flaw that gets him in trouble is that he sometimes bursts up field too quickly and lets the RB slip in behind him. 

Mercilus Vs Ohio ST 

I think Adams is the second most talented OLT prospect on the field in this Draft, minus Character Concern. He has such nice size and power in the running game. Watch Mercilius use his natural leverage to move Adams up field, and tries cut off the edge. He also gets the RB as well. Notice that he is lined up at D-End in the 3-4 right on the nose of the OLT. Okay before I start gushing, watch Mercilus’ hands. Watch as the outside hand of Adams as Mercilius grabs his forearm and won’t let go. That is one of the best moves I've seen this year in college football, and he does it consistently. This is how he gets to the outside, by completely controlling Adams outside arm, and making him block onr-handed. That is just great hands and technique (:02). You have to pay attention, because he switches sides and positions like a horny rabbit. Here he is on the opposite side as a 4-3 D-End, playing outside the ORT’s shoulder. Watch him Setting the Edge here. He holds off the ORT and even drive him back a little, until the FB pops him on the Double. But he is always hustling and he gets back outside and cuts off the RB (:14). Notice how he uses his hands on the FB’s arms and shoves him off and regains the outside contain.

Here he is shuffling down the line like a 3-4 OLB. He keeps his shoulders square his great feet moving and hits the runner with his pads (:23). He is so good against the run. He has such great instincts and reads his key so perfectly. Watch how he pops inside the ORT with his great lateral burst and just waits for the RB. He holds off the ORT with one arm and tackles the RB with the other (:34). He switches sides and goes to 3-4 D-End. On the one-hand I hate when they do that to him, but on the other he shows such natural power, leverage, and strength to stand up against the double inside. When he is on the outside he is usually being double by a lineman and a back and or TE, but in the inside the usually has to face two O-Linemen. If I had that great edge rusher who can play with a nice burst, great hands, and great lateral quickness, you want him out in space getting the O-Tackle off balance, not inside where they can punish him (:44). Did I mention that he led the NCAA’s in Forced Fumbles with nine (:57). That is some amazing stuff. He burst off the line so fast both the OG and OLT are stunned. He gets between the outside arm of the OG and the inside arm of the OLT, and splits them. How would you like to have him lined up on passing downs a s a 3-4 D-End between Wilfork, with Andre Carter or Ninkovich outside of him Pat’s Fans?

Okay, 4-3 D-End in the 11-technique, outside the TE’s shoulders. I know he doesn't have an elite burst, but watch him burst off the Line and immediately get the TE off balance. Then watch the hands. What he does better than any rusher in this Draft is use his Intercepting Hands, to intercept the blockers. He dismisses his hands and is in the backfield blowing up the play (1:09). I love how he comes off the line and grabs the blockers arm, reads the play, and dismiss them. He sends Herron back into his Mates hands, where 99 makes to tackle, and then he jumps up and congratulates 99, who he just gave a free TFL to. I mean, that is a great play and a great display of being a great teammate and leader.

See how he takes on the run block of Adams with his hands and leverage. He slides down the line as the reads the Dive, and finally uses his great natural hands and leverage to toss Adams aside. He has some Freak Factor in him. He is freakish strong. He plays inside so muchm adn is so undersized, but he just never seems to get knocked backwards. I've seen guys with 50 pounds on him get knocked backward way more frquently. He tosses the OLT who is about 70-80 pounds bigger then him 3-yards to the side. He looses track of Herron, but what a perfect display of his freakish strength, great natural leverage, and strong hands (1:18). You can see he saw Herron trying to cut back, and that is when he shrugged Adams aside, but Herron popped back to Adams side in a split second. That was also a nice move by Herron.

Just setting the edge, and then grabbing the O-Tackles shirt and throwing him to the ground, and displaying his freak factor strength and leverage and hands again (1:30). Here he is using his speed, hands, and great natural quickness and COD to dance around the TE, and then zip back inside to make the tackle (1:38). Here he is at 3-4 D-End on the left side, getting half a Sack. His great natural Quickness is really on display here (1:49). Way outside in the 11-Technique on the leftside this time. He is looking to passrush, and gets shoved upfield by the TE, as he tries to burst past him. But watch the dip and the incredible Change of Direction as he Turns back into the play (2:01). You can’t teach that. He has that burst and quickness to TTC that he is not given credit for. That is a perfect example of why I wonder why they keep putting him inside when he is effective on the edge bursting all over the place.

3-4 D-End. A great punch by the ORT stops his momentum (2:09). He is all about 3rd and 4th effort. He is stopped by the ORT with another nice punch. But, he redirects and gets low, uses the power in his legs to Bull the ORT backwards again, and powers him into the QB, and if you look closer, the other passrusher got the QB off balance, but it was the ORT’s butt that knocked him on his butt. That was a Butt Sack for Mercilus (that somehow doesn’t sound right 2:22;-). Grabs arm, shoves, and makes a outside move that gets parried, and then he spins back inside to finally get free (2:32). This is such a great play. He gets up field and sees the handoff, and then Sets the Edge. Maybe he could have attacked and gotten a TFL, you can’t say for sure. Herron sees him and bolts to the other side. Mercilus tracks him, Setting the Edge, 10-yards down field and finally hits him (2:42). He is an all-out all-the time guy. How many of the top rusher in this Draft make that play?

Back at 3-4 D-End. He gets the ORT shoulder and Sets the Edge, and forces the RB inside. Yet still has that rare blend of strength and quickness to change sides and gets the ORT’s inside shoulder and takes a swipe at the RB (2:56). I mean, power, leverage, and quickness that belies his size (3:05). Then he is back at 5-Technique, lined up on the O-Guards nose. He instantly slants to the OG’s outside shoulder, so you know it is called play. Then he leaps past with the burst of a frog. Unfortunately Herron zips inside the OGs block (3:18). Not a lot to say, next play. He burst inside so fast he is at the OC trying to stop the run before anyone can come close to blocking him. Herron pops to his side, and he also gets back to get him (3:42). Rushing from the 3-4 D-end, although he is shifted to the ORT’s outside shoulder. Does it get any better than that? He uses his hands and great burst off the like to dismiss the ORT. He is around him so fast that the RB can’t Chip on him! Then watch his grab, pull, and slap at the ball as the QB fights to stay up. He attacks the QB, and then attacks the ball (3:54). My problem is how does this guy get out of the top ten? Am I missing something? His biggest flaw is that he is so quick and explosive that he sometimes bursts his way out of the play, and allows the offense to run underneath behind him.


Mercilus Vs UCLA

If you enjoyed the Ohio ST tape wait until you see this Tape. This was his best of the season (or at least that I watched;-). I always like guys who play better in Bowl Games, when everyone is watching and all the pressure is on. Rather than the other games. Here he is Setting the Edge. Knocking the blocker backwards so he trips and falls on his butt, and then attacks the RB (:08). Oh, here’s a treat. Here he is as a stand up rusher. You didn’t see that a lot last year. Nice block by the O-Guard (:17). Here he is as the RDE, and he powers off the OLT, works all the way down the line, and gets in on the Tackle on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. You can’t teach that hustle (:24). Double teamed on the edge by the TE and OLT (:33). Stand up rusher. Watch that burst off the snap. That looks like a 3-4 OLB. He gain the O-Guards outside shoulder and zips up field in a flash. He forces the QB to step up, and what makes him truly special is his ability to change directs. He spins back inside as the OG falls forward (:40). Watch this burst. Boom, he is ripping the OG’s outside shoulder (:47). That is why I see him as the top option for the Pats at 27.

Okay, it doesn't get any better than this. This is the Sack that wasn’t a Sack. Just watch the power as he drive the TE and RB into the QB and knocks him down (:52). What makes him special is not just his amazing Power, leverage, hands, and Change of Direction, but he can Turn the Corner? 5-4-3-2-1-Blast off! (:57/58). This is the first time on this TOM’s Tape we saw him blast of the line and just Dip around the Corner. Just sit and enjoy. Darn, I wish I had my speakers plugged in so I could hear what the announcers are saying (1:17). Attacking the arms and chopping them down. Then Dipping, and then Ripping. Beautiful!

He does such a great job TTC on that play, so naturally they move him back inside to D-Tackle to attack the ORG, and he does what he does. He gets caught in a hockey fight with the ORG, disengages, and hustles 15-yards down field to get back into the play (1:24). Gets stoned as a standup rusher (1:34). Fighting through the Double team to protect the edge (1:40). There is no need to Set the Edge, when you can burst through the Double team like that! Oh My Goodness (1:48). He slants outside instantly, so it was probably called. He is out, up, and under the outside shoulder of the OG so fast it just isn’t fair. He zips between the TE and then the FB and forget about it (2:10).  Stand up rusher done in by the double team again, and as he pushed the double back into the QB it looks like a third blocker gives a gut-shot, the RB, might have gotten in on Mercilius as well (2:17). Just Bulls the OLT backwards. He has that knack for always moving forward (2:23). Amazing! Protecting the Edge through the double team. You cannot do it any better than that (2:28). 

3-4 D-End, shedding and getting to the quarterback (2:37). I love how he attacks the TE with his hands. Rather than the other way around, and then pops him with his shoulder pads and move him out. Then it a race to the edge, which the QB is just not going to win (2:47). I have heard that he will get bigger and stronger, and that maybe true. However, watch him shove the OG and OLT back into the Endzone (2:55). That is not a guy that cries out I need to bulk up. His power and leverage on the field is sometime just so remarkable. 

Plus, he’s such a tough guy. He gives some nice shots, but he can take a big hit and he keeps coming. This is anther reason I like him for the Pats. He takes a big cheapshot, and keeps coming play after play. Here he is getting his helmet ripped off in a vicious facemask. And then he just power past the TE as though nothing has happened (3:01). See how he cheers for his teammate son the field again.

Again, taking the hit and keeps playing. Here he is following the ORT, and getting crushed from the side by the Tight End when he isn’t looking, and he gets rocked. Plus, it’s a counter and the RB runs behind him. Watch his head snap to the left, and then he sees the ball going in the opposite direction (3:11). Right here. He is a 5-yard behind the RB with his back turned. He is toasted and out of the play, live to fight another day (3:15). Watch him hustle. (3:01). Right here he is at least even with the RB, which shows his amazing Chang of Direction. He had no business getting back into this play (3:17). Okay, I know it’s late but he actually takes a nice angle and gets in front of the RB (3:18). That is the kind of hustle coaches want to see. 

Now, UCLA has changed their game plan and is relentless double teaming him on every play. OG and OLT serious double-team hockey fight (3:19). Another OG and OLT hockey fight (3:29). They move him out to 11-Technique where it is going to be very hard for the O-Guard to hit him. So the TE and OLT have a nice double-team hockey fight, (which is against the rules in the NHL isn’t it;-) Watch the fight. He almost splits that double in his relentless pursuit of the Quarterback (3:35). Back inside shifted over between the OG and OLT. Hey Tedy, can I get an “OOOOOH Yeeaaaah!” (3:43). They double him mercilessly, and stop for one play, and he makes them pay. Watch him burst up and into TE, and then use his hands to shift past him. Then he dodges the OG. He has such amazing agility, natural balance, and quickness. Then he crushes the RB (3:57). Alright, so he just does a perfect from tackle and grabs his foot as he hits the ground. I’ll take it!

Powering up through the double. I like how he bursts to the Corner so the OG can’t touch him, and then watch how he almost turns that corner on the OLT (4:03). Okay, that’s enough. I think we have seen every reason I sat up and said, “The Pats Have to draft this guy.”  Although, there were a few more highlights: 

Watch the suddenness in his shoulders as he bursts inside the OLT and gets his inside shoulder. That is what you are looking for. (5:04). He hits the OLT with such great lean, and watch how he powers the OLT back and up, and the OLT is off balance and helpless. Watch the hands fight. I love how this guy has that knack for grabbing the blockers forearm and forcing him to play one-handed, that is such a great weapon (5:16). Okay, I keep trying to stop watching this Tape, but it keeps dragging me in.

Watch him split the double team by the OG and OLT and almost get the RB 3-yards deep in the backfield, that is freakishly not human (5:23). Watch this hit on the OLT. He bursts up an into his gut and knocks him off his feet, and drags him to the ground as he runs past (5:32). Here he is a stand up rusher like he was Drafted by the Pats and it’s 3rd and long. Nice burst off the edge. I know he overruns the Screen, but watch the great burst off the edge (5:40). Takes on the double low and with amazing power, and then gets chipped in the gut by the RB and spins into the QB with amazing agility (5:49). 

Back in the 3-4. Nice push-Pull, watch the shoulders of the OLT jerk forward as he tries to shrug him off, and then he runs the Hoop around the QB (5:55). It is amazing how agile he is Turning the Corner, but so rarely uses a Dip or Rip around the Corner. Okay, one last play. Stand up rusher. Does he have great feet? Watch this dancers move around the OLT. He just destroys the OLT with his feet, and is tackled from behind by the O-Guard. That was a triple team as the RB was out Chipping on the Corner (6:26). Every time I think I am done being impressed, he comes up with something new. Who is number 85, “Sign him up” I say. “The Pats Have to draft this guy!”

Okay, that’s enough. I have to go watch the “Girl with Dragon Tattoo with my wife. So you can watch the rest of the Tape or not (but don't tell me this guy isn’t a 1st Round pick;-). I just can’t see anyway he gets to the Pats.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= 60fJEcIF1h8



Email me if you'd like a question blogged:


  If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:


Patriots Draft Blog 2009

Patriots Draft Blog 2008

Patriots Draft Blog 2007