Whitney Mercilus tape vs Ohio State

Whitney Mercilus is a player I’m still trying to work out. In my initial tape review vs UCLA, I had mixed feelings. He flashed on a handful of run plays, got to the quarterback enough to impact the game and showed the ability to adapt and work out a lineman’s weaknesses. Mercilus also struggled against a tight end he should be dominating in college, didn’t flash an effective bull rush or compensate with elite speed or technique. He led the NCAA for sacks in 2011, but how does he grade? I’ll keep monitoring the tape including the performance above against Ohio State – expect more on Mercilus soon.

Tape courtesy of Aaron Aloysius


  1. williambryan

    Number 99 for Illinois also seems to show up well in tape. Mercilus looked like a good player from this game vs. OSU. If judging off this tape alone I would think he could be someone who gets around 10 sacks a year, probably never much more, but then Clemons has given us 11 sacks a year and is one of the better rushers in the league, so…?

  2. jim J

    I don’t know what to think. He looks competent, he has a slippery quality to him where he looks like he is blocked and then gets free, he is in the vicinity of the ball carrier a lot, and knows how to tackle.

    I would worry that he doesn’t appear to be a phsically strong beast, he will probably be blocked and handled by a pro tackle. I would really like to see a DE that can throw a tackle aside and have other moves.

    I did see a spin move, but it wasn’t effective. Also noted that he followed the runner downfield a couple times for a tackle. This is something our current line isn’t good at. Basically he holds his positions, and will tackle the ball carrier if he gets close to them.

    I still like Cox and Upshaw better for hard playing, high motor, and good tackling skills. I would like to see the whole team transform into beast mode!!!

  3. Smeghead

    jim J – I also really like Upshaw’s awareness and ability to just be around the ball/play… I don’t know how you teach that to a player – it seems to me they either have it or they don’t….

  4. jim J

    People that have caught my eye include:
    1st Upshaw, Cox, maybe Coples, maybe Perry or Hightower, I would like to see more tape on Still and Brock as DTs
    2nd Branch or Curry as DE
    3rd or 4th Jean Baptiste DT
    4-7 CB and LBs – not sure who is available

    1 st Richardson, 3rd Osweiller , need another RB, OL and WR

  5. Micah

    He looked like he has good instincts in this film. He explodes well out of the crouch but needs to develop more upper body strength. If he does that, he could be really good. His hands are pretty active, but I’m not knowledgeable enough to know whether that is a good thing or not.

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