With the No. 26 overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected former . Mercilus is the 19th-rated prospect in the draft and the second-ranked defensive end, according to Mocking The Draft's rankings.
Here's what Mocking the Draft had to say about Mercilus prior to the draft:
Pass rush: Mercilus has a nice first step off the line of scrimmage, which he uses to get past blockers and into the quarterback. Is strong at the point of attack to use the bull rush, but agile enough to spin. Likes to work to the inside instead of turning the corner. Played both right and left end. At times used without his hand in the ground rushing the middle. Likes to time the snap, which he'll sometimes get caught off sides. Started only one season at Illinois and had little production before his breakout junior season. But when he led the nation in sacks in 2011, it was stretched throughout the season and didn't come in spurts.
For more information about Whitney Mercilus and the Fighting Illini, check out Hail to the Orange. You can find more on the Texans at Battle Red Blog. For lots more on the 2012 NFL draft, please visit Mocking the Draft. You can learn more about Mercilus by watching the video below.