From Walter Football:
Whitney Mercilus*, DE/OLB, Illinois
Height: 6-4. Weight: 261.
40 Time: 4.63. 10-Yd Split: 1.56.
Vertical: 32. Broad: 9-10.
Arm: 33 7/8.
Projected Round (2012): 1.
4/25/12: Many teams have shown interest in Mercilus and his stock has had a quiet rise. He stands a good shot of cracking the top 20. Mercilus featured his special speed and athletic ability at the Combine. He ran well, moved extremely well laterally in the field drills and had quality strength. Mercilus showed 3-4 teams that he can operate as an outside linebacker. Reports were that Mercilus performed well at his pro day. Between the Combine and his pro day, he has cemented his status as a first-round pick.
A typical game from Mercilus in 2011 featured a sack and a forced fumble. He led the nation in sacks and forced fumbles last year. The junior totaled 57 tackles with 22.5 tackles for a loss, 16 sacks and nine forced fumbles.
Mercilus showed no mercy this season to offensive tackles and quarterbacks. All year long, he beat tackles with a combination of speed, strength and athleticism. Against Ohio State's Mike Adams, one of the best offensive tackles Mercilus played this year, he beat Adams for 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Mercilus was tough on Wisconsin and its powerful offensive line with a sack-fumble on a bull rush through massive right tackle Josh Oglesby. Routinely, Mercilus plays with ideal pad level and body lean.
The early entry prospect is extremely fast and gets upfield in a hurry. His speed puts offensive tackles on their heels, and he has the athleticism to drop his hips and shoulder to turn towards the quarterback. Mercilus' strength can take linemen by surprise, and he has a powerful bull rush. In run defense, Mercilus anchors and holds his ground well. He needs to work on shedding blocks in order to be able to make more tackles in the ground game.