NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

Whitney Mercilus

Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Whitney Mercilus.

Player information:

  • Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
  • 6-foot-4, 265 pounds
  • Graduated high school with a GPA over 3.0 and his parents are from Haiti.
NFL Combine:
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.53 seconds
  • 3 Cone Drill: 7.17 seconds
  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.63 seconds
  • Bench Press: 27.0 reps
  • Broad Jump: 118.0″
  • Vertical Jump: 32.0″

News & Notes:
Stock is rising after the combine…Finished with a NCAA-best 16 sacks in 2011 as a first-time starter…Forced nine fumbles in 2011, second highest in NCAA history…Led the Big Ten with 22.5 tackles for loss…First-team All-American and Big Ten honors…Won the Ted Hendricks award as the nation’s top DE…Unpolished and still developing…high-effort player.

What they’re saying about him:

  • Dane Brugler (NFLDraftScout.com): “Attacks gaps and is a pesky rusher, finding ways to squirm into the backfield. Hard player to block cleanly.”
  • Mark Potash (Chicago Sun Times: Potash quotes an NFL scout: ‘‘Mercilus is a speed rusher with excellent athletic ability. The question [is], will he be a one-year wonder or an up-and-comer? He could be productive as a 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 edge guy.’
  • Matt Bowen (National Football Post): “Wasn’t perfect in positional drills, but displayed enough athletic ability to align as a 4-3 DE or drop into coverage as a 3-4 backer. Plenty of discussion that Mercilus is a one-year wonder…let the tape be the judge of that.”


Video analysis:

  • Tries to blow past blockers on every play
  • If someone teaches this kid an inside move or two, look out
  • Lost outside containment only once in the above video
  • You have to get a body on this kid, even when you run away for him
  • Has one mission: Get upfield. Makes him susceptible to draws, but that’s coachable
  • If the Packers draft this kid, I can see him becoming a huge hit in training camp because of his athleticism. Lots of ooohs and ahhhs during speed drills

Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.