Texans Profile: Whitney Mercilus

Patrick D. Starr

With the #26 overall pick the Houston Texans selected outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus from Illinois.

IMG_2315[1]

Tale of the Tape

Height: 6-3

Weight: 261 lbs.

Arms: 33 7/8"

Hands: 9 1/4"

With the board falling better than what the Houston Texans expected, they decided on what appears to be the best player available in Whitney Mercilus. Plenty of questions were surrounding him heading into the draft being considered a "one year wonder". Playing defensive end for the Illini, Mercilus declared early after a dominating junior season after he led the nation with 16 sacks and was also voted the top defensive end in the nation (Ted Hendricks Award).

Coming out of college Mercilus was considered a defensive end only, but as the evaluation continued whispers started that he could possibly be a stand up rusher. With the exit of Mario Williams, and with Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed pulling majority of the work on the edge, this was a quality pick. Now added to Reed and Barwin, the outside linebackers for the Texans have gotten even younger and more athletic.

Many analyst saw the Texans selecting a wide receiver like Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech) and Rueben Randle (LSU), but at that point of the draft the wide receivers left would be considered reaches. The Texans took a great value pick and improved and already impressive defense.

Mercilus Scouting Report

Mercilus NFL Combine Numbers

Mercilus' Statistics:

Defense

G

Solo

Asst.

Total

Sacks/Yds

TFL/Yards

FF

FR

P Def

Int/Yds

2008

0

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

2009

11

4

4

8

1 / 7

3.5 / 16

--

--

--

--

2010

13

8

8

16

1 / 7

3 / 11

2

--

1

--

2011

13

28

29

57

16 / 105

22.5 / 123

9

1

1

--

TOTAL

37

40

41

81

18 / 119

29 / 150

11

1

2

--

MERCILUS AWARDS & HONORS

  • 2011 Ted Hendricks Award Winner (top DE in nation)
  • 2011 CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Year
  • 2011 Consensus First-Team All-American
  • 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalist
  • 2011 Bednarik Award Semifinalist
  • 2011 Rotary Lombardi Award Semifinalist
  • 2011 First Team All-Big Ten (coaches / media)
  • 2011 First-Team All-Big Ten (Phil Steele)
  • CFPA National Defensive Lineman of the Week (10/10/11)
  • Led the Nation in sacks (16) and forced fumbles (9) in 2011

You can follow Patrick on Twitter. He is the Editor of State of the Texans and is a draft analyst on Sideline Scouting

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