However he also said that when a player is a one-year wonder you have to carefully examine the reasons why.
In Mercilus' case one could theorize that somewhere between last season and the year before:
1) Something just clicked… the game "slowed down for him" or any of these things that happen in sports where a player develops past the threshhold and raises his game to another level.
2) He caught up to his body… in the offseason between 2010-11 we're talking about a guy who was 19 years old!
That's as much a kid as a man and it's totally plausible that he hadn't grown into his body yet.
3) Maybe it was mental maturity… the possibilities are many.
Point is, one would be a fool for dismissing Mercilus as a one-year wonder.
Yes it's a concern but as Nix said, it's just an opportunity to dig deeper and understand why that was the case, and if those reasons allay your fears.
Yeah Whaley had a quote along these lines as well. I still think Dareus had a very limited body of work (really about 1.5 seasons) and they didn't shy away from him. I just see a stud with this guy. He did have a quote about the game slowing down for him this year and he was able to put it all together. I just can't find a knock on him to push him out of my mind. While digging for info I came across this too.
again info below is from link above
Mercilus decided to capitalize on his breakout campaign and enter the 2012 NFL Draft as an early entry. "I was just able to put everything together," said Mercilus. "It was just due to hard work, that's all I have to accredit it to. Can't say I'm surprised, but it happened. I made it happen."
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. 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 bills seem to avoid who they are targeting on draft day, making them one of the hardest teams to decipher.
As always, our pick at 10 will probably be someone we weren't expecting.