With the 20th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2012 NFL mock draft, the Tennessee Titans select Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus. Detroit_fan is serving as the Titans' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
If there is one thing the Titans need to address in this draft, it's their lack of a pass rush. They produced only 28 sacks last season, which was second worst in the league. So far in free agency they were able to add Kamerion Wimbley, but Wimbley alone is not the answer to their problems of not being able to get to the QB.Mercilus was the most productive pass rusher in college football in 2011 and led the nation in sacks and forced fumbles. He totaled 57 tackles with 22.5 tackles for a loss, 16 sacks and nine forced fumbles. Playing against Ohio State's Mike Adams, one of the best offensive tackles he went up against last year, Mercilus beat Adams for 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Mercilus is also pretty good against the run and has a very good first step. He has both the raw power needed for an effective bull rush and the agility to develop into a very good player.
Tennessee could also use some help on the offensive line and in the secondary, but I think with such low sack numbers, Mercilus should be the pick here.
Check out the 2012 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.