BLOOMINGTON, IN - OCTOBER 08: Dusty Kiel #8 of the Indiana Hoosiers attempts a pass while defended by Whitney Mercilus #85 of the Illinois Illini during the game at Memorial Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Bloomington, Indiana. Illinois won 41-20. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Whitney Mercilus is another guy that has been linked to the Tennessee Titans in numerous mock drafts around the internet. Mike Mayock was asked about Mercilus on his conference call yesterday. Click through the jump to see what he had to say.
I think on the positive side, there's production, albeit one-year production which scares some teams, crazy numbers for one year, which begs the question, where were you before then.
However, when you look at what he is on tape, he's a natural pass rusher. He's a natural edge rusher. He's got excellent take off. He understands how to work up the field. Does he need to learn technique and more pass rush moves? Yes, because right now, like a lot of gifted college kids, he depends on his speed to win.
What I would say, so he's one of the most gifted natural pass rushers in this draft. What I would say is that even though he repped out 225 27 times and the numbers look good, on tape he can struggle at the point of attack in the run game. And I think that's the biggest concern that if you draft him today in the first round, how many snaps are you going to get out of him. Maybe it will be similar to what [Aldon] Smith did in San Francisco; a situational pass rusher that's disruptive and effective, and he will grow into that point of attack role where he'll be a three-down player. But I think that's really the only side is can he be stout enough at the point of attack down the road to justify being a first-round pick.
Is a situation pass rusher worth the 20th pick in the draft?