Mercilus recovered a fumble and had two sacks as the Texans (11-1) remain tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NFL with their sixth straight win Sunday.|||||||
This was a nice bit of progress for the Mercilus, who the team would hope to see more production from.
The Houston Texans have signed No. 26 overall pick Whitney Mercilus to a four-year deal. The team did not release financial terms of the deal.|||||||
The 6-foot-4, 254-pound player was a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme at Illinois but has moved to outside linebacker in the 3-4 alignment the Texans use. He started just one season in college, but was the nation's leader in sacks with 16 and forced fumbles with eight.
Mercilus had one - and only one - spectacular season at Illinois. That was all Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips needed to see. Houston used the 26th pick in the first round on the 6-foot-3, 261-pound Mercilus, and the projected outside linebacker officially joined his new team Friday.|||||||
Mercilus was an early entry junior. He led the nation in sacks with 16 and forced nine fumbles last season, helping Illinois make a dramatic turnaround on defense. Phillips said that if Mercilus had stayed in school, he would've been a top-10 pick next year.