Illinois’ Mercilus says Bills showing “a lot of interest” in him


Speaking in front of assembled reporters Saturday at the Combine, Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus revealed that the Buffalo Bills have “showed interest … a lot of interest” in last year’s NCAA sacks leader, according to Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550.

Mercilus also named the Chargers and Bears as teams with which he’s been in touch.

In addition to tying Simeon Rice’s school record for sacks in 2011, the fourth-year junior Mercilus led Division I college football with nine forced fumbles. He paced the Big Ten in tackles for a loss (22.5) and earned the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s top defensive end.

Mercilus, though, only received a third-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board before declaring for the draft. With just one big season on his college resume, Mercilus will be viewed as a possible “one-year wonder” by pro evaluators.

13 responses to “Illinois’ Mercilus says Bills showing “a lot of interest” in him

  1. Of all of the projected 1st Round DE’s, he is my favorite. He has prototypical size and measureables. He may only have “one good season”, but he has the tools to continue that at the NFL level. Ingram is too small for a team that already struggles against the run, and Coples is an under-achiever who comes off as a money motivated player. It’s also no small feat to tie Rice’s school record when you consider 3-4 Big-Ten (12? 11?24?) OL will be coming off the board in Round 1. I would really like to see the Bills trade back to take him, as 10 seems too high, maybe with a team who likes Coples or Ingram. If it can’t be done, then pull the trigger. As for the rest of the draft, I like Colby Fleener in the 2nd (May not be there, but if we trade back we would have the ammo to move up.) Lavonte David in the 3rd, and Tommy Streeter in the 4th with Bruce Irvin. The draft is normally a middling influence on a teams success, for the Bills, this year is “Make or Break”.

  2. @EJ

    Yeah, outside of PSU’s LB’s, they are notorious for producing under-achievers. Also, Maybin had a total of 10 starts his whole college carrer, Mercilus i think is the 18-20 guy, while playing an extra season as well. Maybin played in college at 230, Mercilus plays heavier at around 250-255, so if he runs a good forty, and swivels well, he would easily be a better prospect.

  3. If this guy makes it through two rounds of the draft I’ll wear a Vikings shirt for a weekend.

  4. This is a classic Bills pick. They find one player they absolutely love and they take him regardless of everyone perception. Same reason they took CJ Spiller a couple years ago.

  5. Third round? I’ll push a peanut to St. Paul with my nose if he lasts to the third round.

  6. JPP was a one year wonder and he turned out to be pretty good. 10 is just high though. I wish the Bills would work the draft like the Eagles and Pats. Trade down, stockpile some picks since they are so dead set on building through the draft.

  7. Would be nice if that was true for a 3rd rounder. Hopefully it’s true the Bolts are looking at him and if he is there in the 2nd or 3rd round, they can pick him up.

  8. I would prefer if we draft a more experienced college prospect, someone that has the starts and the tape to make you feel more secure about what you’re getting.

    Reiff, Upshaw, Blackmon (won’t fall) are my top three favorites at #10.

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