Chances are there are some coaches - and fans - losing sleep over who will replace their departed stars. But our Rivals.com experts found 10 seemingly gaping holes that may not be so difficult to fill after all. For instance, who needs Lawrence Jackson when Everson Griffen is around? Get inside for...[details]
Personal: Played tight end and defensive end at Fork Union in 2004... had 38 catches for 647 yards and 5 TDs on offense...had five sacks, 51 tackles (37 solo), three forced fumbles and eight pass deflections in 2004...named team MVP at Fork Union in 2004...18th-best tight end in the nation by SuperPrep...25th-best prep school player in the nation by Rivals.com...34th-best tight end in the nation by SuperPrep in 2003...had 20 receptions for 430 yards and four touchdowns as a senior at Cordova High School in Memphis, TN...totaled 34 tackles, four sacks, and two fumble recoveries during his senior year. . played in the Tennessee/Kentucky All-Star game...first-team all-state and All-Region in 2003...named to All-Dixie team by SuperPrep...All-Atlantic Region selection by PrepStar...attended Calhoun High School in St. Matthews, SC for three years before transferring to Cordova...played for former South Carolina player Chris Rumph during his first three years in high school...Rumph played for Clemson assistant coach Brad Scott when Scott was head coach at South Carolina...named best male athlete at Calhoun High School as a junior...defensive MVP at Calhoun in 2002...all-conference, all-region, and all-area in basketball as a sophomore and junior at Calhoun High School...also starred in basketball at Cordova High averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds per game through February 1...averaged a double-double as a junior at Calhoun High, 15 points and 13 rebounds per outing...prep school teammate of fellow signees Durrell Barry, and Elsmore Gabriel at Fork Union...played for J.C. Harmon at Fork Union Military Academy in 2004...chose Clemson over offers from Arkansas, Kentucky, Memphis, and South Carolina...born Phillip Blaine Merling on August 19, 1985.
The Good: Merling has the prototypical physical skills that NFL scouts seek in an end prospect. He is a big, mobile athlete with excellent quickness and movement skills for a player of his dimensions. He also has the power to match up with NFL tackles. He has a quick first step.
The Bad: He is still a bit raw after starting only two seasons at Clemson. He relies mainly on his swim move to beat blockers and needs to develop other moves to succeed at the NFL level. He struggles to separate when facing a double-team.
This is special to Rivals.com from Frank Coyle. Coyle has written about the NFL Draft in his newsletter for more than...[Complete Bio]