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View Poll Results: How do you feel about our First rounder?
I like it 189 79.08%
I dislike it 7 2.93%
I don't have an opinion yet 43 17.99%
Voters: 239. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-27-2012   #181
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

Some thoughts of Wade on Mercilus.
Quote:
All-American Whitney Mercilus ‘super excited’ to be picked by TexansPosted on April 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm by Dale Robertson

The Texans made out rather well by choosing a Big Ten defensive end in Wisconsin’s J. J. Watt a year ago, so they went back to the same well Thursday night.

They selected Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus with the 26th pick overall in the NFL draft.

But Mercilus, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said, is more of a Brooks Reed – except he’s even further evolved that Reed was when the Texans chose the Arizona Wildcat with a second-round pick in 2011. And, like Reed, he’ll be converted to outside linebacker with the Phillips needing to replace Mario Williams, who was lost to Buffalo because of salary-cap problems.

“He’s more used to using his hands than Brooks was, and he’s a really good football player,” Phillips said. “By the end of the year, Brooks and J. J. were dominant players. This kid will fit right in with them.”

Looking at Mercilus junior-year stats, which were enough to wow the Texans’ coaches and scouts, it seems he’s appropriately named. No, not the Whitney part. Mercilus was, in fact, merciless for the Illini, leading the nation in both sacks (16) and forced fumbles (nine) while making 22.5 tackles for losses.

In Phillips’ mind, he’s no project, despite his being a “one-year wonder” at Illinois and only 21 years old. The plan is to insert him immediately into a three-man rotation with Reed and Connor Barwin when the opposing quarterback has no choice but to throw the football.

“He’s like the guys we have,” Phillips said. “He’s a smart player (who’s) athletic, tough, physical and a self-starter, a high motor guy who plays with ability. He’s one of the top pass rushers in the draft. He’s got some natural moves. You don’t get 16 sacks in that league if you don’t have some natural gifts.”

Interestingly, Mercilus played for the same defensive line coach as Barwin had at Cincinnati, Keith Gilmore.

Phillips said he Texans had “an opportunity to trade up because we thought he was that valuable” to ensure they could choose Mercilus, the son of Haitian immigrants who decided to turn pro to help his family financially, but Phillips said they “held their ground” and still got their man. He was clearly their top choice, realistically speaking.

“When I signed my contract with (owner Bob) McNair (before the 2011 season),” Phillips said, laughing, “he told me we could get a first-round draft choice every year.”

Watt delivered the goods in 2011, starting every game as a rookie at defensive end, while Reed started the last 13 – including the Texans’ first two in the playoffs in franchise history – after Williams was lost for the season to injury. Despite their inexperience and the newness of Phillips’ 3-4 scheme, the Texans climbed from near bottom to second in the league defensively.

Mercilus played in the 2010 Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium against Baylor – forcing a Robert Griffin III fumble – but admitted the Texans weren’t on his radar screen until after he visited with team officials at the draft combine in February. He also confessed that he didn’t know much about Phillips but said he was eager to learn from him.

“I’m super excited,” he said. “I can’t wait to be part of the Houston Texans’ system. It’s unbelievable. I’m looking to learn (but) to contribute right away.”

Mercilus likes to think of himself a something of a cross between Julius Peppers and Dwight Freeney, combining power with finesse as a pass-rusher. He’s arguably the best at same to come out of Illinois since Simeon Rice, who played for 12 seasons, went to the Pro Bowl three times and earned a Super Bowl ring with Tampa Bay.

The only question mark he brings to Houston is the depth of his resumé. He was hardly a star performer before last fall, starting only 15 games as a collegian. Intelligence isn’t a question mark. He graduated early with 3.0 GPA.

“I just became more astute about the game,” Mercilus said, explaining his explosive improvement. “When I got my chance, I was ready to make the most of it.”

One of the stranger – but most telling moments – of his Illinois tenure happened when he lost the tip of his left index finger in a weight-room accident, then made light of the situation. Had there been any doubting his toughness before that, none lingered.

Phillips referred to Mercilus, because of his pass-rushing acumen, as a “difference maker.” Although he didn’t always manhandle offensive tackles in college, that’s not to be seen as negative given how the Texans will use him.

“They’re going against huge offensive tackles, and he’s 260 pounds, so he’s not going to look at strong in the three-point stance. But they’ll look a lot stronger when they’re rushing the passer on third down. When you play him outside linebacker, now he’s playing against tight ends and backs.

“We’ll come up with something (that works for him). We’ll put him in there and let him rush the passer. He’s a natural. If he’d stayed (in college)for another year, he’d be a top-10 pick.”
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Old 04-27-2012   #182
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

The only concern I have about the pick is that he doesn't have an extended track record. I'm hoping he's not a one year wonder.

After Wright went off the board I had a feeling we'd probably go defense. There are still some quality WRs that can fall to us in the 2nd. Alshon Jeffery isn't a bad consolation prize.

I like what Mercilus can potentially add to the defense. The Giants have won two Super Bowls recently thanks to the strength of the their defensive front 7 and pass rush.

If we can get that in Houston we'll alway be in the think of things.
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Old 04-27-2012   #183
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP View Post
Because Smith is going to want to see some "love" from the Texans on his next deal. It's just the game that gets played.
Smith is already overpaid, and will either be paid considerably less or be on a different team in the future. Could be we just drafted his replacement.
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Old 04-27-2012   #184
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
Shocked beyond belief he was still available at 26.
I thought Mercilus would go #18, #19, or #20. I can understand why the Chargers passed and went with Ingram. Ingram has done it longer and is more versatile. I don't get McClellin for the Bears, unless they plan on playing him at OLB. That the Titans passed on Mercilus for a slot receiver makes me laugh. I also think Belichick made a big mistake taking Chandler Jones over Mercilus.

Picking up the nation's leading pass rusher at #26, who has impressive measurables, was fortunate. One of the talking heads last night compared Mercilus to the Niners Aldon Smith, who was coveted by Wade Phillips last year. I can see that comparison. The Texans will face some tough QBs this year, and this pick indicates that the Texans plan to go after them.
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Old 04-27-2012   #185
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
I'm hoping tomorrow for us to trade up and get Randle. I think we can afford that luxury. We can give up one of our extra 4ths to move up.
Based on the smart pick they made last night, I doubt they go into stupid mode today. When they pick they will get the best OL or WR available, unless somone drops completely unexpected and they cant pass up the player at another position. Then rinse and repeat in the 3rd. In the fourth with the two picks I expect to see them grab a QB or an extra WR, and another OL.
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Old 04-27-2012   #186
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
This is what I was thinking.

BTW, Silverhand I've watched many Ilini games and Mercilus was a great value pick. The guys a stud, who is only going to get better as he puts on more weight. He appears to be dedicated to his craft and is a hard worker. Kinda the anti MW/OkOye.
Doesn't he weigh 260lbs? How big do you need your OLB?
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Old 04-27-2012   #187
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

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Originally Posted by badboy View Post
Very possible. I was thinking Texans do not want to be caught in a Mario situation ever again. Yet we have 3 possibles in 2013, Barwin as you mention, Schaub and Duane Brown.
Not a chance. Barwin and Brown will be re-signed, Matt is gone.
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Old 04-27-2012   #188
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

maybe he can rotate with the Ninja has well ya know

having a 3 man rotation could maybe even open up some plays to were brain cushing can do some blitzen ????
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Old 04-27-2012   #189
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

i think we need a TE more then a WR right now

our starting WR are still all on the team

AJ

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4th guy

if we draft a WR he will pretty much be battling for a 3rd spot
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Old 04-27-2012   #190
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

Some interesting background on our new Texan. One thing that those that have criticisms of his play...........HE IS ONLY 21 YEARS OLD..........I.E., ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF UP SIDE.

Quote:
from The Cleveland Plain Dealer
April 24, 2012

The phone began ringing after the incredible numbers piled up -- 16 sacks, nine forced fumbles last season.

NFL scouts called about Illinois junior defensive end Whitney Mercilus asking the same question: Who is this guy?

Well, maybe not who, but what, as in, "What was the difference between last year and this year?" said Keith Gilmore, his college position coach. "Why all of a sudden he became a great player."

It was as if the 6-4, 261-pound Mercilus suddenly emerged from a cornfield to become a likely first-round pick Thursday in the NFL draft.

The former Akron Garfield standout and Plain Dealer All-Star had started just two games with one sack as a sophomore, and recorded just one sack as a redshirt freshman.

It wasn't a cornfield. It was a weight room, and the football classroom, and intense training to improve his speed and pass-rushing technique.

"I became more of a student of the game," he said by phone recently between stops on a whirlwind tour of NFL team visits. "And also I worked harder in terms of developing my body."

The student's confidence grew with experience and playing time, Gilmore said, and he better understood blocking schemes and how offenses might try to handle him.

"And I would say his finger had a lot to do with it, too," said his younger brother, Donald, a freshman free safety and double business major at Mount Union.

Mercilus lost the tip of his left index finger in a weightlifting accident when he reached in to help a teammate who was losing control of a lift. The fingertip was cut off between the weights and weight stand.

"That just opened his eyes to see that anything could happen any day," his brother said. "I guess he looked at life in a new perspective."

As the season progressed, Gilmore also reminded Mercilus, who plays with a finger splint inside his glove, to worry less and just cut it loose.

"I think early in the year, he was afraid to make a mistake," Gilmore said. "He's such a conscientious kid. It was an ongoing conversation."

The conversation has shifted to how high in the draft Mercilus will go. Most draft analysts project him as a mid-to-late first-rounder.

Seven teams, including the Browns, Chicago and San Diego, brought him in for a visit. Green Bay and Baltimore sent his high school coach questionnaires to learn more about him.

"Where I land is not really a preference to me," said Mercilus, the middle child of Haitian immigrants who settled in Akron by way of New York. "Football is football, no matter how you look at."

But when Garfield High School coach Bob Sax first caught a glimpse, Mercilus was a 6-0, 185-pound freshman without a clue. He hadn't played a down -- at any level.

"He was really raw," Sax said. "You could tell he didn't really know how to block or run routes."

Mercilus, initially a tight end, still remembers his first game.

"I want to say it was against East," he said. "I got a tight end 'pop pass' and caught the ball, but I fumbled it because the kid put his helmet right on the ball and made it come out. That was my first time."

By his junior year of high school, though, he was athletic, big and strong enough to play both ways -- tight end and defensive end -- and colleges paid attention.

"Every time he comes home, he'd be like, 'Dad, mister such and such is going to come down to my school to see me play,' " recalled his father Wilner Mercilus, who works as a caregiver for senior citizens.

"I'd say: 'Are you sure? Are you getting that good? Are you sure they're coming to your school to see you play?' I knew he could do whatever he can on a field to become good, but it was hard for me to believe they were coming to school only to focus on him, you know?"

Some colleges identified his son as a tight end. Illinois, which he chose partly to be closer to home, recruited him for defense.

"I definitely wanted to play defense instead of offense," Mercilus said. "Give the hit, not take it."

Last fall, he was a giver.


The nine forced fumbles are a Big Ten single-season record and just one short of an NCAA record. His 16 sacks tied an Illinois record (NFL Pro Bowler Simeon Rice in 1994).

"We always knew what he could do," said Illinois teammate Justin Staples, a redshirt senior defensive lineman from St. Edward, who was in the same Illini recruiting class with Mercilus, Mayfield's Ashante Williams and Glenville's Cordell Scott. "I've never seen Whitney take a play off."

The accolades poured in. Mercilus was named a first-team All-American by nine news outlets/publications, including the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America and American Football Coaches Association.

After his record-setting junior season, Mercilus talked to his parents and coaches about whether to go pro, got an estimate from the NFL about his possible draft ranking and declared himself eligible. Because of his athleticism, Mercilus also is being looked at as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Mercilus said it was a tough decision, being a semester short of a community health degree, which he said is important to him and his parents. He also didn't want to declare for the draft and then slip to the late rounds or not get chosen at all. He has heard the "one-hit wonder" whispers.

But the consensus had his value much higher.

"That made me more comfortable about my decision," he said. "Got the NFL grade back, which was a third-round grade, and they usually do it conservatively. So I thought, second round, why not? So I decided to make the jump."

So, on Thursday night, Mercilus, surrounded by family and friends, many coming from out of town, and some on Skype to Haiti, will be in Akron as his football future unfolds on the national stage.

"There is what is called joy, happiness," his father said. "Then at the same time fear, stress, all combined together. That day, we're going to be sitting in front of the TV, you're heart is going to be beeping high."

"No matter what comes," said his mother Yvrose, "it comes."
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Old 04-27-2012   #191
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norg View Post
i think we need a TE more then a WR right now

our starting WR are still all on the team

AJ

Kevin walter

J Jones

4th guy

if we draft a WR he will pretty much be battling for a 3rd spot
We have a WR ... Lestar Jean who may very well be the future. We also have a TE in Graham who may be as well. I say OL is our next position of true need right now.
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Old 04-27-2012   #192
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

I like the pick. Having a rotation of guys with different moves can really play havoc with an OL. The tackles tend to get used to patterns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhouston View Post
Smith is already overpaid, and will either be paid considerably less or be on a different team in the future. Could be we just drafted his replacement.
Mercilus is going to be an OLB so long as Phillips is here. He is not suited to 3-4 DE.

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Originally Posted by ckhouston View Post
Not a chance. Barwin and Brown will be re-signed, Matt is gone.
As much as you want and hope for it won't make it true. Unless there is a physical issue he is the QB. Have a drink, lay down under a tree and hope your somnambulance caries you through to when Schaub isn't QB.
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Old 04-27-2012   #193
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Unless there is a physical issue
I agree and stand by my prediction ... he is gone.
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Old 04-27-2012   #194
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

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Originally Posted by kiwitexansfan View Post
Doesn't he weigh 260lbs? How big do you need your OLB?
He doesn't need to be bigger. Wade will scheme him where he will be rushing the passer against TE's, RB's. He will be a diffrence maker in Wades defense. Mercilus has the explosion off the ball that all great pass rushers have. He reminds me of Tamba Hali coming out of college.

Mercilus will put on weight naturally (he's only 21 yrs old) as his body matures.
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Old 04-27-2012   #195
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

Mercilus is eerily similar to this this guy:

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings...2010&genpos=DE

Similar, numbers athletically, similar break out season, though Mercilus put up even better numbers in a superior conference. Hopefully, he'll have similar success in the NFL
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Old 04-27-2012   #196
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

I slept on it... and now I would change my pick to 'I love it!'.

I worry about him being a one year guy, but I trust Wade. Also, there is no question the kid is talented (live in Big 10 country, saw him play a couple times) and a hard worker.

My only other concern is a lack of explosion, as I mentioned earlier. 32 inch vertical confirms that. He is quick, not so much explosive. I dont think he will be a high sack number guy (meaning 15+, I think 8-12 is a better projection), but he will be in the QBs face a lot.
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Old 04-27-2012   #197
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

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Originally Posted by rmartin65 View Post
I slept on it... and now I would change my pick to 'I love it!'.

I worry about him being a one year guy, but I trust Wade. Also, there is no question the kid is talented (live in Big 10 country, saw him play a couple times) and a hard worker.

My only other concern is a lack of explosion, as I mentioned earlier. 32 inch vertical confirms that. He is quick, not so much explosive. I dont think he will be a high sack number guy (meaning 15+, I think 8-12 is a better projection), but he will be in the QBs face a lot.
He ran a 1.56 10yd, that's explosive. If you check the link on JPP I just posted you'll see they have similar numbers and I think most would say JPP is an explosive athlete
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Old 04-27-2012   #198
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

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Originally Posted by silvrhand View Post
first round pick on a guy that noone ever saw play cause he played at IL, against sub par talent for one year.. We took a huge risk on yet another project player.

Would rather us seen go WR, then OG/OT before spending a first round on this guy.. For me I don't like it.
Maybe this will make you feel better - Whitney Mercilus Vs Wisconsin


Whitney Mercilus vs Ohio State

Whitney Mercilus vs UCLA

Whitney Mercilus Illinois vs Penn State
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Old 04-27-2012   #199
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I slept on it and I feel a smidgen better. Only because wade acknowledges that OT's gave him trouble as a de and he wants to consistently get him matched up on te's and backs.

Overall I still don't like the pick. Doesn't seem very explosive or strong on tape. Even his highlight tape wasn't very impressive to me.

But as ive said many times I hope like he'll that I'm wrong and he goes beast mode. Not holding my breath though.
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Old 04-27-2012   #200
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus - First Round Pick

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Originally Posted by Rey View Post
I slept on it and I feel a smidgen better. Only because wade acknowledges that OT's gave him trouble as a de and he wants to consistently get him matched up on te's and backs.

Overall I still don't like the pick. Doesn't seem very explosive or strong on tape. Even his highlight tape wasn't very impressive to me.

But as ive said many times I hope like he'll that I'm wrong and he goes beast mode. Not holding my breath though.
He didnt look good Vs the run as a DE , didnt seem to get off of blocks well but as a pass rusher , its a different story. He can get after the QB.
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