Chargers Interested In Illinois DE/LB Whitney Mercilus

Dec 31, 2011; San Francisco CA, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Whitney Mercilus (85) during a play after losing his helmet against the UCLA Bruins during the second quarter at AT

Whitney Mercilus has the label of one-year wonder on him. He led the NCAA with 16 sacks and forced 9 fumbles last season. He is one of the guys that the Chargers have their eyes on:

 

Could we draft a guy out of Illinois in the first round 2 seasons in a row? Last season, we spent our first round draft pick on Corey Liuget and this season Mercilus is on our radar. He is having a big combine and should be catching the eyes of the Chargers

Here is the scouting report on Mercilus from Pro Football Weekly:

Upside:

• Outstanding athlete
• Good second-effort production — hustles and works to the ball
• Great closing burst
• Versatile — rushes from inside, outside
• Nation’s leader in sacks, forced fumbles
Downside:

• Plays too upright
• Raw hand technician
• Stays blocked
• Average instincts
• Not dynamic changing direction
• Limited point-of-attack, base strength
• One-year producer
The Way We See It:

Motivated to support his hardworking, Haitian immigrant parents, Mercilus declared early, but is still very much a work in progress. Is a relentless, straight-linish speed rusher capable of disrupting anywhere on a four-man line. Stands out more for his effort than rush skill.

Is he a one-year wonder or can he continue on from that impressive season? Will he be able to shed blockers in the NFL? He could be the linebacker that we line up on the opposite side of Shaun Phillips.

Topics: Illinois, Whitney Mercilus

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  • RussellGrant

    Where are they projecting him?  I’d be wary about a high draft pick on a guy who produced one year in college.  Especially on someone who will be a project player.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ epadaon

       @RussellGrant pro football weekly has him as a 2nd round guy… he probably will be late first to second round guy. I think there are a lot of other guys that I would target before him if they are available. 

  • @kencaminiti21

    Looks like the four 3-4 OLB/edge rushers out there for the Chargers are: Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram, this Mercilus guy, and Nick Perry.  God help AJ Smith if he doesn’t get one of these guys in the 1st round.

    • RussellGrant

       @@kencaminiti21 Well, how come I think AJ will come up with Some guy from South Central Louisiana State?  Not Bobby Boucher.  The cross eyed dude.

    • A_Eme_O_Ere

       @@kencaminiti21 Upshaw reminds me of Larry English. The guy will never be  linebacker. Ingram has better instincts to play OLB but will be gone long before we get to pick. Nick Perry would be great for us if he had stayed at 250#’s but he has gone up to 270. I don’t think he could play OLB at 270. I think our best option is to trade down and we could probably still get Mercilus. The only LB I like at the 18 spot is Luke Kuechly but everybody would say that is WAY too high for an ILB. Still, with Dielman probably retiring #18 could be the perfect spot to get DeCastro.

  • MikeTuck

    Stick with Perry, doesn’t go in upright and has great edge speed!!!

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