What jumps off the film is Mercilus understanding of protecting the edge. While he appears conservative at times, he’s also effective. His teammates will never have to worry about the loss of containment to Whitney’s side. He’s also able to hold the linemen up with his off hand while corralling the running back with his other. Displays good upper body strength, able to toss tackles to the side when he gets them off balance.
Very effective with his hands, swatting away his counterpart’s hands or grabbing them so they can’t get control of the situation. Whitney also takes what the offensive players give him, he understands that if he gets to the outside on running plays he will either make the play or force the back towards his teammates. Very unselfish, team guy. He has a tremendous get off when standing and also shows better speed and power when starting this way. Mercilus seems to find an extra gear when it’s a clear passing down, like a 3rd and long.
When he gets chipped, he doesn’t take it in stride and regain easily, seems to bounce around like a pinball. Almost as if his upper body is the key to his full dynamic. While battling he tends to get caught up and loses focus on the ball and where the play is going. On most downs, I see good not great speed. This speaks to the negative about his conservative play, except on clear passing downs where he pins his ears back. He produces because of effort, he doesn’t have great technique.
- OLB, Illinois, Jr.
- Ht: 6’4
- Wt: 265
- 40 time: 4.71
After watching Whitney for awhile, two words really sum him up. 1) Effort – He’s going to give it everything on every down and play for his teammate. 2) Discipline – If the coach tells him to stand in one spot and do jumping jacks while the back runs right by you, that’s what he would do.
He plays the system the way the coaches ask him to. He’s not going to be the most jaw dropping player but teammates and coaches will love him. They will all be able to depend on him on every down and know exactly where he’s at. The defensive minded coaches that really buy into their own system and just need guys that buy in, will jump at the chance to draft Mercilus…and how cool of a defensive name is Mercilus…not so much Whitney.
Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You can also catch Jayson on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew every Thursday at 10:30am ET. You may email Jayson directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock