With the 16th pick in the NFL Draft, the NY Jets select Whitney Mercilus from Illinois University.
NFL Draft Scout Top Edge Players, OLB/DE: *Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois, 6-4, 261, 1...Mercilus' startling 2011 season sent scouts scrambling to learn more about him, and the news was better than expected. After two mediocre seasons at Illinois, Mercilus used cat-like moves to become an All-American and win the Ted Hendricks Award as the best defensive end in the country. He led the nation with 16 sacks, nine forced fumbles and had 22.5 tackles for a loss. Of all his statistics, forced fumbles is the one that many scouts admire most. "I just have a knack for it," he said. "Throughout the game I was able to watch the quarterback's movements and just see him open up and then I just go in there and just knock it away." Scouts gush a list of positives traits, including quickness, agility, strength, instincts, condition, attitude ... and he is just beginning to mature and could be a great outside linebacker. Reaching for comparisons, they mention names like Simeon Rice, Dwight Freeney, Richard Dent and even the great Reggie White. The U.S.-born son of parents who emigrated from Haiti in the 1980s, Mercilus played mostly soccer until high school. His 2011 season had an inauspicious beginning when he lost the tip of his left index finger last spring in a weight-room accident. Teammates were shocked when he light-heartedly dismissed the injury as only a bother when he played the keyboard or tried to pick up coins. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange/NFLDraftScout.com
Basically i wanted a tackle, but the tackles available IMO were a reach here. Whitney fulfills a need, a pass rusher, and he's athletic and his natural skills lead to pass rushing unlike last year where the Jets got guys who were good college pass rushers but who didn't have the natural ability to repeat those skills at the next level. He also seems like an ok guy, which is a good thing for the Jet locker room. Has a good motor on a defense that is more a great scheming defense and Revis, rather than players with great athleticism. Good fit for Jets IMO.
He will be mercilus on defense!