Photo of Whitney Mercilus
Drafted By: Texans
  • Round 1
  • Pick 26
  • Overall 26

Combine Results

86.0 ?
  • 4.68 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 27 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 32.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 118.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.17 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.53 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

Mayock's take: "Whitney Mercilus is a pure pass-rushing defensive end or outside linebacker. And now he joins one of the best defenses in the NFL. I'm a little stunned by this. I thought they could use a little more on offense to be explosive for when Matt Schaub comes back."

  • 6'3" Height
  • 33 7/8" Arm Length
  • 261LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/4" Hands


Mercilus is an early entry junior who started only one year at Illinois. He played the weakside end at Illinois and would be best served there in a 4-3 defense in the NFL. He has third-round value but could ascend.



Mercilus is a fast, athletic defensive end who is quick off the snap and has a good burst to close on the quarterback. He is a situational rusher who excels against the run and brings the versatility to run to the flats at his size. Whitney is able to quickly get off the snap and engage into his man's frame. He excels in pursuit down the line of scrimmage and is a high motor player. He can win at the next level with his speed rush.


His feet are slowed by his instincts as he oftentimes gets caught looking into the backfield and hesitates when diagnosing the run. He can get occupied by bigger, stronger blockers and tends to shut it down completely in these looks. He is more quick than explosive. He is a drag-down tackler who relies on his weight and is inconsistent in his wrap-up form.
Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.