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Philip Merling Article

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Old 04-24-2008, 07:17 AM   #1
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Philip Merling Article

Just wanted to post an article about Philip Merling who may be an intersting pick at 21. He is working out for teams today. I actually think that Merling's injury may let him slip to the Skins at 21.....

The State | 04/24/2008 | Seeing is believing

He has visited four teams: Minnesota (which reportedly has traded the No. 17 overall pick), Tampa Bay (No. 20), Washington (No. 21) and San Francisco (No. 29).
However, Cincinnati (No. 9) and Detroit (No. 15) and Jacksonville (No. 26) have also quietly expressed significant interest — a validation of his versatility because of those teams’ varied defensive schemes.
Pro scouts view him as a fit at strongside end in a conventional 4-3 defense, an outside tackle in a 3-4 defense or even an inside tackle in the Tampa 2.
"To me, he's a top-15 player in this draft," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. "If he falls into the 20s, I think it's directly attributable to the fact teams are nervous because they can't test him.
"Phillip Merling to me is one of the most intriguing questions in this year's draft. And the reason is, he's going to be healthy for the season. Matter of fact, he's going to be healthy for training camp. So all 32 teams know they're going to get a healthy player despite the fact he just had surgery. The problem is, all 32 teams are so heavily dependent on the measurables the 40, the vertical jump, all that stuff — and they're not going to get the chance to test this kid.
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:23 AM   #2
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Re: Philip Merling Article

Moving this to the NFL Draft forum
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:42 AM   #3
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Re: Philip Merling Article

I've never seen him play, and can't find any decent film of him on the internet. Just that horrible TV clips which show absolutely nothing. But strong side end would fill a need so it would make sense. The Heath Miller comparisons also are helpful for me since I remember how he fell pretty far (if you consider late 1st far) after not being able to work out but having a dominant college career. Just a couple more days ....

Again, having not seen him play, the descriptions of him make me think of Kenard Lang. Stout player who lacked elite pass rush ability. Also came out as a junior with some talk that if he had stayed he might have been a top 10 pick ... taken #17 by the Skins ... I guess it is those mental images of Kenard Lang that make it hard for me to get real excited about Merling. Lang was good, but not great, serviceable (moving between end and tackle) but never really a game changer or big-time impact player. If someone is more familiar with Merling give me your opinion on whether the Lang comparison is accurate or whether Merling might be a more explosive player ... or am I being unfair to Lang?
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:50 AM   #4
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Re: Philip Merling Article

This is so typical of the NFL these days. The guy's stock is almost certainly going to drop because teams don't have the "all important" 40 time and cone drills and such to work off of. The guy put together a great career playing in the SEC......either he can play or he can't play, and you don't find that out with a stopwatch, you find it out by looking at past performance. The more I see and hear about Merling, the more I think he'd be a great pick for us at 21. I personally could care less what his workout numbers would have looked like. Particularly for defensive guys, what good is a 4.40 40 if you take a full second longer than a guy that runs a 4.60 40 to diagnose a play and react? And what good does it do you to be 3 inches taller and 30 lbs heavier if you don't have an arsenal of decent moves to get by the tackle and get to the QB? I'm not saying workout numbers don't serve any purpose, but the weight they are given is just ridiculous.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:00 AM   #5
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Re: Philip Merling Article

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Originally Posted by PSUSkinsFan21 View Post
This is so typical of the NFL these days. The guy's stock is almost certainly going to drop because teams don't have the "all important" 40 time and cone drills and such to work off of. The guy put together a great career playing in the SEC......either he can play or he can't play, and you don't find that out with a stopwatch, you find it out by looking at past performance. The more I see and hear about Merling, the more I think he'd be a great pick for us at 21. I personally could care less what his workout numbers would have looked like. Particularly for defensive guys, what good is a 4.40 40 if you take a full second longer than a guy that runs a 4.60 40 to diagnose a play and react? And what good does it do you to be 3 inches taller and 30 lbs heavier if you don't have an arsenal of decent moves to get by the tackle and get to the QB? I'm not saying workout numbers don't serve any purpose, but the weight they are given is just ridiculous.
AMEN. Every year there's a Mike Mamula in the draft, a workout warrior who jumps into the first round based on great combine numbers. Then there are those like Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, and Cris Carter who slide due to slower than expected 40 times. My take: look at the film, trust the film. Film doesn't lie.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:22 AM   #6
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Re: Philip Merling Article

I think it will be interesting if Merling and Malcolm Kelly are both available at #21. What to do then?
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:27 AM   #7
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Re: Philip Merling Article

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Originally Posted by Mattyk72 View Post
I think it will be interesting if Merling and Malcolm Kelly are both available at #21. What to do then?
Matty - I would be happy with eiher to tell you the truth - I just don't want to see us trade away the pick unless we get a multiple amount of picks to trade down. I know the Skins have said they like to acquire players via trade, free agency and the draft - lets just let the draft be the answer this year for once and let our cap get a breather.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:33 AM   #8
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Re: Philip Merling Article

I have two buddies who went to clemson (one of which is a sportswriter in greenville) that are very high on this kid (more so than other clemson players in this draft and previous ones). His combine showing was mediocre but they swear that this guy is the next Strahan (physically and intangibly). I was told that he isn't exceptional in any one facet but is above average at everything. The word to describe him was, consistency, cuz he always shows up and was 100% on every play. He could be a good pickup to complement a pure pass rusher like Carter.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:07 AM   #9
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Re: Philip Merling Article

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I have two buddies who went to clemson (one of which is a sportswriter in greenville) that are very high on this kid (more so than other clemson players in this draft and previous ones). His combine showing was mediocre but they swear that this guy is the next Strahan (physically and intangibly). I was told that he isn't exceptional in any one facet but is above average at everything. The word to describe him was, consistency, cuz he always shows up and was 100% on every play. He could be a good pickup to complement a pure pass rusher like Carter.
Thanks. Well, sounds pretty good to me ... hopefully they are right if that turns out to be the pick. A Strahan would be nice. So would you say they were higher on him than on Gaines Adams last year (see you say higher on him than players in previous drafts)?
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:11 AM   #10
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Re: Philip Merling Article

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Matty - I would be happy with eiher to tell you the truth - I just don't want to see us trade away the pick unless we get a multiple amount of picks to trade down. I know the Skins have said they like to acquire players via trade, free agency and the draft - lets just let the draft be the answer this year for once and let our cap get a breather.
I would trade this pick for one extra 2 as long as the 1st 2 was a high one. Atlanta & KC fit the bill with multiple picks in round 2 but those are teams that need a lot of bodies and may not be interested in a trade up.

If I have to stay at 21 and had those 2 on the board I think Merling is probably the better choice and we could come back with a WR in round 2 or 3. I am just betting the WR depth will be better in rounds 2 & 3 then the DL depth will be.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:37 AM   #11
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Re: Philip Merling Article

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Originally Posted by Mattyk72 View Post
I think it will be interesting if Merling and Malcolm Kelly are both available at #21. What to do then?
Definitely Merling. For me there is no elite, must-have WR in the 1st round. This isn't to say Merling is a must-have, elite either. Ideally we trade out of that #21 slot and pick up more picks later.

Just saying I'd rather have Merling in the 1st then take a WR even in the 3rd round (Bennett? Caldwell?), than take Kelly in the 1st then take a DE later.

EDIT: Didn't realize I essentially said the same thing celt did
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:38 AM   #12
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Re: Philip Merling Article

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Originally Posted by celts32 View Post
I would trade this pick for one extra 2 as long as the 1st 2 was a high one. Atlanta & KC fit the bill with multiple picks in round 2 but those are teams that need a lot of bodies and may not be interested in a trade up.

If I have to stay at 21 and had those 2 on the board I think Merling is probably the better choice and we could come back with a WR in round 2 or 3. I am just betting the WR depth will be better in rounds 2 & 3 then the DL depth will be.
I like the idea of trading with KC and getting their 2nd and 3rd round picks.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:00 AM   #13
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Re: Philip Merling Article

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Originally Posted by Mattyk72 View Post
I think it will be interesting if Merling and Malcolm Kelly are both available at #21. What to do then?
Merling. Or move down a few spots, get an extra pick and pick up Lawrence Jackson, DE from USC
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:28 PM   #14
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Re: Philip Merling Article

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Originally Posted by Mattyk72 View Post
I think it will be interesting if Merling and Malcolm Kelly are both available at #21. What to do then?
pass on kelly with the slow running and the terrible knees for the bigger impact position which is also a harder need to fill.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:56 PM   #15
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Re: Philip Merling Article

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Originally Posted by Mattyk72 View Post
I think it will be interesting if Merling and Malcolm Kelly are both available at #21. What to do then?
Merling without question. It's much easier to find impact WRs after the 1st round than impact DE's. Regarding Kelly, I think that he'll be an excellent pro also, despite slower 40 times. As I said earlier, look at the tape - it doesn't lie.
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