One of the most intriguing players I watched on tape was DE Whitney Mercilus. He rarely aligned wide in Illinois’ defense, which significantly limited his pass rush space and minimized his initial burst off the ball and his overall athleticism. The Titans need to rush the quarterback better (only 28 sacks in 2011), and they will select Mercilus and line him up wide to maximize his pass rush ability. At this point, Mercilus is a little bit of a straight line rusher with a limited repertoire but there’s no question he has burst and closing speed.
Cosell had him at 20th overall, Shonka had him at 19.