Texans Ink 1st Round Pick Whitney Mercilus

Whitney Mercilus has been practicing with the Houston Texans without finalizing a contract and there was never any worry over whether or not he'd sign with the team, but both Mercilus and the Texans will be happy to have a deal done before training camp. The team announced on Thursday that they have signed their first-round pick.

Mercilus had an extremely productive college career and is expected to be a contributor, though not an every down player, right away for Houston. Head coach Gary Kubiak spoke about his minicamp performance in the Texans' release regarding Mercilus' signing.

"He's doing good. He's doing a lot, trying to learn special teams and handling his job outside, so he has a lot on his plate right now. He has a lot of ability and should be able to help us a lot."

Last year at Illinois, Mercilus racked up an impressive 16 sacks and an incredible nine forced fumbles. He was a defensive end in college, but will play outside linebacker in the NFL.

For more on Mercilus and the Texans, head over to Battle Red Blog and SB Nation Houston.

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