DL Mercilus signs with Texans
The Houston Texans signed first-round pick Whitney Mercilus to a
four-year deal on Thursday.
Mercilus was the 26th overall pick in this year’s draft out of
”It’s great to get it off my mind and just concentrate straight
on football and everything,” he said. ”Just more concentrating
instead of having a monkey on my back, no doubt and just getting in
front of the fans.”
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’s happy with the progress he made in
the practices leading up to this week’s mini-camp, which wrapped up
”I’ve grown up a lot, pretty fast, too,” Mercilus said. ”They
shot it straight at us really fast, a hundred miles per hour and
it’s a lot of information to take in. But it was our time for these
three days of the mini-camp to actually grow up and graduate and
basically go out here and execute what they call.”
He started just one season in college, but was the nation’s
leader in sacks with 16 and forced fumbles with eight. He earned
Big Ten first-team honors and the Ted Hendricks Award as the top
defensive end in the nation.
The Texans did not release financial terms of the deal.
Houston has two remaining unsigned draft picks in guard Brandon
Brooks and receiver DeVier Posey, who were both chosen in the third
Also on Thursday, Houston signed free agents Keith Browner and
Moran Norris, who spent the last three days at mini-camp trying out
for the team. Browner, a defensive end and linebacker, played in 38
games in his last three seasons at California.
Norris, a 12-year veteran fullback, played for the Texans from
2002-05 before spending 2006 and 2007 with the 49ers. He spent the
2008 season with the Lions before returning to San Francisco for
the last three years.