Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/26/12
The Houston Texans, despite trades all over the place, remained at spot no. 26. They surprised many when they selected defensive end Whitney Mercilus from Illinois. 

Houston was home to the NFL’s no. 2 defense in 2011, and hardly appeared to have holes that needed filling on the defensive side of the ball. This being said, it was even more shocking that the Texans chose a one year starter and early-entry junior in the first round of the draft. It seemed more likely that a wide receiver to bring some explosiveness to the offense would be atop the list.

Nonetheless, Houston has added quite the defensive threat in Mercilus. With a 4.68 40 time he possesses the tools to become a great pass-rusher. He lacks size at 6’3” and 261 lbs so don’t expect anything more than a pass rusher out of this pick. Even though he doesn’t appear to be a dominant run-stuffer, he is a good fit in Houston’s 3-4 defense. He will be a nice addition as an outside linebacker sure to bring pressure off the edge. If you had any question as to whether or not the Texan defense would remain as one of the leagues' best, well, this should answer that as we see their priorities play out in the draft.

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