Mercilus Inks Contract

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Late Wednesday afternoon, the Houston Texans announced the signing of their 2012 first round draft pick, Whitney Mercilus. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it does finally land their top pick in a Texans uniform. Mercilus is expected to make the position change to outside linebacker from his college position of defensive end. Mercilus has been getting positive reviews from Head Coach Gary Kubiak during OTAs and mini-camp workouts, and sounds like he could create one of the more athletic outside linebacker groups teaming with Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed.

Mercilus was the 26th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft out of Illinois, where he lead the nation in quarterback sacks (16) and forced nine fumbles at defensive end. Mercilus was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and media. He won the 2011 Ted Hendricks Award, 2011 Bill Willis Award, and 2011 CFPA Defensive Performer of the Year, in addition to being recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.

With the Mercilus signing, the Texans only lack two draft picks to sign with Brandon Brooks and DeVier Posey.

*Updated from Mark Berman*

Mercilus gets a 4-year deal worth $7.63 million with $6.55 million guaranteed. His signing bonus is $3.99 million.