DE Whitney Mercilus-Illinois
Weight: 265 lbs.
Grade: 6.7 O (Grading Scale)
Projection: Round 2
Good frame and size for a DE prospect…appears to have good length that should allow him to keep OT’s off his body…very active pass rusher who will fight both inside and outside to beat you…has active hands that he’ll use to battle the OT…shoots low out of his stance on bull rush and displays some pop on initial contact…does a good job getting off on the snap on his arc rush…never stop player who works through blocks and will give great pursuit on the ball carrier.
Looks stiff to us on film, struggles at times to dip the shoulder and cut the corner…has good but not elite level speed…needs to do a better job timing the snap so that his jump out of his stance is more effective…does not look fluid in the open field…can be targeted in the running game especially on misdirection plays with his tendency to over pursue…must work hard to further refine his pass rush moves…need to continue to use his hands in a more efficient and consistent manner…if he can learn how to set up the OT better with an inside-outside move combo he could become a very dangerous pass rusher.