So, many of you may have not heard from me in a while, I have been busy with some school work as I have just completed the second of my first two video games that I have designed, animated, and programmed myself. For those of you who program video games, you know that creating these takes up a significant portion of our time :).
In this post I will compare the play of both Whitney Mercilus and Melvin Ingram against each other to determine which player is the ideal defensive end in this years upcoming draft. Because of what happened with Derrick Morgan and Brandon Graham in the 2009 draft, I am going to forgo using statistics as the main source of my thesis. This post is entirely based upon each players' performance during the games I have viewed. Today, I will release this report on Mercilus, and later in the week I will release a report on Ingram. Then I will create a thread on where you can vote on who you think is the better prospect that will feature video of both players.
Whitney Mercilus Film Review
Games viewed: vs. UCLA, vs. Wisc., vs. Ohio St. -2011
Whitney has impressed me immensely throughout all the tape I have watched of him. His most impressive quality is his motor, he will play to the whistle on every down, whether the game is tied, or his team is ahead, or if his team is getting blown out; he just doesn't quit, ever! Mercilus also possesses that incredible ability to anticipate the snap. This is a quality that only the upper echelon defensive ends possess in the NFL. He gets off the ball so quick, that he is already in the pocket before the QB has even reached his second step in his drop! When Mercilus plays, it looks like he knows all of the offensive plays, before they are even run. As a result, he is always breaking up screens, sniffing out end-arounds, and anticipating running lanes as soon as the play begins. He is always in a position to make a play, and he wraps up well when he gets to the ball carrier. He is frequently double-teamed throughout each game, and even while double-teamed, he manages to shed both blockers and get to the QB/TB on almost every play. Mercilus was triple teamed by the end of each of these three games and he still managed to be disruptive in the passing and running games. Mercilus gets low right off the snap and rarely allows the offensive lineman to get their hands inside of Mercilus' frame. As a result he is able to use his strength and hands to consistently shed blockers. Mercilus has terrific hands and has a tremendous repertoire of moves that he is capable of using on offensive lineman. When Mercilus gets to the QB, he almost always goes for the strip-sack, and he is mostly successful in dislodging the ball from the QB. If there is one play that epitomizes who Mercilus is as a player, it would be: during the Wisconsin game, the Badgers were running a stretch run to the right, Mercilus held stoutly against the ruin expecting his linebackers to flow through the hole and attack the ball carrier. However, the Wisconsin running back decided to try to bounce this play to the outside, so Mercilus threw the offensive lineman on top of the running back then jumped on the pile up that he created, ending the play in a loss of 2 yards. That is what Mercilus is all about in a nutshell, effort, strength, and intelligence; all rolled into one player. If there is one thing I would like to see from Mercilus is to get his hands up when he cannot get to the QB. He doesn't try to get his hands into the passing lanes sometimes, which can result in some big plays for the offense in the off moment when they are able to block Mercilus.
Whitney Mercilus Synopsis
Mercilus can play either 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE, his versatility will make him valuable amongst NFL teams in the upcoming draft. Mercilus' combination of his tremendous physical ability and mental capacity is a rarity amongst collegiate players in today's game. Mercilus rarely comes off the field and can be used in any situation, another rarity in today's college game. Mercilus excels in his use of the bull rush and swim moves. However, he will have to work on developing some finesse moves in order to become a great defensive end. In my opinion, Mercilus deserves to be a Top 5-10 pick in the draft, he may fall to 20 due to the tag of being a "one year wonder." However, Mercilus is not a one year wonder, Mercilus is a man who just finally understood his playbook and what offenses were doing. Itf any of you have played sports before, you will know that moment of clarity when you finally understand your playbook font to back and how much that can elevate your game alone. Normally, when I write up a report about players I like to compare them to a player in the NFL, so the player that Whitney Mercilus reminds me of the most is Clay Matthews. The combination of strength, speed, and intelligence is so prominent amongst these two players when they play, that it is almost impossible to tell them apart from one another.