Chargers could look at one-year wonder

INDIANAPOLIS – One of the players the San Diego Chargers will surely consider with the No. 18 pick is Illinois pass-rusher Whitney Mercilus.

After a dominant 2011 season, Mercilus is one of the most intriguing defensive players on the board. He is considered one of the most dangerous players on the board for the very same reason.

After not making much of an impact as a freshman and as a sophomore, Mercilus was star in 2011. In his first season as a starter, Mercilus recorded 16 sacks and forced a whopping nine fumbles — leading the NCAA in both categories.

The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Mercilus knows there are questions about whether he can sustain his 2011 success in the NFL — and is aware of the one-year-wonder talk.

“I think it’s a negative label because once you have it, you have it,” he said. “Once you’re able to produce like that and you put it all together, in your mind, you know you’re able to repeat that success.”

Don’t be shocked if the Chargers are the team to give Mercilus that chance. He would fill one of their greatest needs. And indeed, Mercilus said the Chargers are among the the teams showing the most interest in him.