|Did Not Run (Hernia)|
|JUSTIN TUCK-New York Giants...Both defensive ends will make a nice living coming off the edge. They have impressive size, though Merling is best playing on the move to utilize a sudden initial step to slip past blocks. He is not a good stack-and-control type and must do a better job of protecting himself from low blocks, but he is quick to provide outside run contain and shows a quick swim-and-spin move that generally gets him into the backfield to pressure the pocket. He won't read and react in an instant, but has closing speed to seal the deal, even in long pursuit, once he locates the ball. He has to improve his lower-body strength, but there is enough athletic ability there to get by as his body continues to mature.)|
|Fun Fact Interview|
Growing up, who was your favorite NFL player and why? Julius Peppers - I like the way he plays the game.
In college, what player hit you the hardest? Who was the recipient of your best hit? Quarterback, Louisiana Monroe.
What TV-show marathon will keep you on the couch all day? Fresh Prince.
What are the five most-played songs in your iPod? What's the one song you hope nobody ever finds out is in your iPod? Young Jeezy.
What celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life and why? Shawn Marion - We look similar.
What is one thing your teammates don't know about you? I like reading.
What reality TV show would you like to be on and why? Flavor of Love - The girls.
What's your proudest moment in football? Proudest moment off the field? Beating Florida state; Best Cadet Award at Fork Union
When you play Madden, what team do you use? Do you put yourself on the team? Don't play Madden.
Who has been the biggest influence on your football career and how? Chris Rumph.
Phillip Blaine Merling, Defensive End, Clemson University, Born August 19th, 1985
Weight: 276 lbs
40 Yard Dash: Did Not Run at Combine or Pro Day, Pre-Combine 4.63, 4.73, 4.84
Bench Reps: 17, at Combine
Vertical Jump: Did Not Jump
Broad Jump: Did Not Jump
20 Yrd Shuttle: Did not Shuttle
NFL Draft Scout Prospect Ranking 3rd out of 165 DE's.
* Phillip did not participate in most drills at the combine and his pro day due to his recovery from recent Sports Hernia surgery.
Phillip came to Clemson in 2005 as a sort of homecoming. You see, Merling began his football career at Calhoun County High School where he was coached by his Uncle, Chris Rumpf. When Phillip enrolled at Clemson University where he was coached by their Defensive Line Coach, Chris Rumpf. Merling, amazingly, played both ways before coming to Clemson, being ranked as the 18th best Tight End in the Country by SuperPrep in 2004. Once arriving at Clemson, Merling would stick to the defensive side of the ball and adapt to playing defensive end full time. Merling played on 271 snaps in his freshman year, the fifth most of all freshman that season (at Clemson).
Phillip would work alongside another first round talent in Clemson's Gaines Adams. Gaines would be the 4th overall pick in the draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While working with Gaines, Merling would have 46 tackles and play in all 13 games. Phillip's outstanding season is tempered by the dominant play of Adams on the other side of the line giving the talented player much to prove in his junior year.
His 2007 campaign proved many skeptics wrong as he led Clemson in tackles for loss and sacks (17 and 7 respectively). The ACC Named him "Defensive Lineman of the Week" three times. 78 total tackles and earned the teams "Rock Solid Award". Overall Merling had 7 sacks for a total loss of 50 yards, 17 stops for losses for a total of 80 yards, and 21 noted quarterback pressures. His best game would come against Boston College, were despite losing the game, Phillip had nine tackles, two sacks for big losses, and absolutely destroyed Freshman All-American Anthony Castonzo.
Scouting Report: Strengths:
NFL Draft Countdown:
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
Sports Hernia: What's that mean for us?
Phillip has skipped the majority of "draft season" workouts because of recent surgery on a Sports Hernia. A Sports Hernia is a small muscle tear along the hip joint or abdominal wall. Athletes in Soccer and Hockey are most effected, but repetitive opening of the hips that puts pressure on that area can cause a tear. The current way to treat a sports hernia through surgery involves small laparoscopic instruments and uses a small mesh like material to hold everything in place. Only a few surgons perform this procedure, though Dr. Cattey claims a 96 percent success rate. Accodring to Catley, athletes can return to their sport in as few as four to six weeks.
What that means for Merling and the Jaguars is that while the Injury might scare away a few teams, the injury increases the likelihood that Merling "falls" to the Jaguars at pick 26. There is a risk in taking a player with this type of injury that they don't regain their burst and movement as they were before the surgery. We could be, in essence, drafting damaged goods, something that after Brian Smith and Mike Waker, I'd really like to avoid.
If he's healthy, I'd love to see him fall to the Jaguars...If he's healthy.
Better Know a Draft Prospect: The Series: