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Whitney Mercilus shows off his quick first step

Whitney Mercilus, Jonathan Brown, Braxton Miller AP

Whitney Mercilus of Illinois was one of the best pass rushers in college football last season, and he’s showing at the Scouting Combine that he has just the kind of quick first step that NFL teams look for in a pass rusher.

Mercilus ran the 40-yard dash in an unofficial time of 4.63 seconds, but the 10-yard split may be more important than the full 40-yard time for defensive linemen, and Mercilus had a very good 10-yard split of 1.57 seconds.

“I come off the line — I have a good first step,” Mercilus told reporters over the weekend. “I’m able to come off the line pretty quickly. Definitely I’m able to wear out players, too. I have a never-ending motor, and I’m able to keep going until the fourth quarter until somebody is dog tired and just take advantage of them.”

Although his workout numbers are great, the more important number is 16: That’s how many sacks Mercilus had last season.

“It’s just going out and there and getting it each and every down, each and every game,” Mercilus said. “There’s no fluke to it, 16 is 16. There’s no way you can just fall onto a sack.”

Mercilus decided to leave Illinois with one year of eligibility remaining after the NFL draft advisory board gave him a third-round grade. He may be boosting that stock today.

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11 Responses to “Whitney Mercilus shows off his quick first step”
  1. joetoronto says: Feb 27, 2012 11:37 AM

    I thought Sue was a bad name for a boy, wow.

  2. okieviacal says: Feb 27, 2012 11:42 AM

    He’s going to go super high thanks to JPP’s production this past season.

  3. suite34 says: Feb 27, 2012 11:46 AM

    “There’s no way you can just fall onto a sack.”. I think Strahan and Favre would strongly disagree with that statement.

  4. godofwine330 says: Feb 27, 2012 11:58 AM

    “There’s no fluke to it, 16 is 16. There’s no way you can just fall onto a sack.”

    This is exactly right. Luck is one thing, but after 8 they start paying closer attention to “lucky” players. And there is no better name for a defender/pass rusher than Mercilus. Dude sounds like a gladiator.

  5. EJ says: Feb 27, 2012 12:30 PM

    They graded Whitney Mercilus way too low, he should be off the board by the early second round at the latest. I am hoping Buffalo grabs him 2nd round, pick 10. He would be a great addition to Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Nick Barnett and Kelvin Sheppard. Lets go Buffalo!! Get ‘em!!

  6. flapjackdaddy says: Feb 27, 2012 12:41 PM

    You can fall onto a sack. You can’t fall onto 16 of them.

  7. tropboi11 says: Feb 27, 2012 1:23 PM

    Suite34, hahahaha you took the comment right outta my mouth, but whoever gets this guy in the 3rd round is lucky.

  8. brownshonk says: Feb 27, 2012 2:10 PM

    Guy is gone by Cleveland in the 2nd if not sooner

  9. fringetastic says: Feb 27, 2012 2:16 PM

    I don’t know how you pronounce his name, but if it sounds like Mercy-less, that is totally awesome!

  10. tangysizzl says: Feb 27, 2012 8:03 PM

    I’ll be surprised if he lasts till the Packers pick at 28 but thats what Im hoping. Matthews and Mercilus has a nice “Ring” to it.

    Everyone knows they need a pass rusher in this draft and I believe they will have a shot a good one OLB or DL even sitting at 28.

  11. jolink653 says: Feb 27, 2012 9:43 PM

    He would be perfect off the edge for the patriots he’s exactly the kind of player needed to boost the pass rush and if he can do in the nfl what he was able to do in college he would instantly make the entire defense better

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