Houston Texans: Whitney Mercilus Analysis, and Round 2 Predictions


So maybe I was wrong in guessing we were going to go offense in the first round, instead the Houston Texans drafted DE Whitney Mercilus from Illinois. Mercilus is 6’3, weighs 261 lbs, and acquired 16 sacks last year in the Big 10. With no one to back up OLB Brooks Reed and OLB Connor Barwin, it is no surprise Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips wanted some depth to our already outstanding pass rush.

DE Whitney Mercilus

When Wade Phillips signed his contract last year Owner Bob McNair told him for every year he stayed the Texans could draft a defensive player in the first round. Last year we drafted DT J.J. Watt, and after the Titans drafted Baylor WR Kendall Wright, I think the Texans front office decided to draft the best player on the board. This pick makes a lot of sense, because the Texans lost DE Mario Williams to Buffalo. The Texans also drafted Mercilus in part because of Colts 1st pick of the draft QB Andrew Luck. It is obvious the Texans are the favorite to win the AFC South, but what about 5 years from now when Luck has had some years to develop? Well the Texans wanted to insure a steady pass rush for years to come, in the hopes that Phillips can do for Mercilus what he did for Demarcus Ware. This guy is quick and has the best 10 yard sprint of any DE in his class, he will be able to run around in Phillips system quite well, and hopefully upkeep the Texans elite defense. It also doesn’t hurt he has a badass last name.

2nd Round Predictions

The Texans will look to fill some offensive gaps in the 2nd round. They can’t avoid not drafting a WR or OL for long, so this might be the round. In the 2nd round at the 58th pick we will most likely have the options of WR Alshon Jeffrey or WR Mohamed Sanu. Jeffrey is a guy who can separate and has good hands. Sanu has the production numbers form last year, due to his big hands and long arms. I believe Sanu will fall to us, he isn’t the fastest receiver, but he has the size and hands to get in the middle of the field to present a red zone threat. He is also a good blocker, which will be necessary in the Texans run game. He knows how to run his routs and is able to get leverage in coverage. If Sanu is off the table in round 2, we will probably go OL to replace the likes of RT Eric Winston. At the 58th pick it is likely Ohio State Tackle Mike Adams is on the board. He is 6’7 and weights 323 lbs, which makes him just the kind of size we need on the Texans offensive line. For his size his 10 yard split is incredible with 1.83 seconds. The reason why he is falling so far off the board, is because he was caught in the Ohio State scandal with Pryor and got suspended 5 games. But this guy is a Class A pass defender. The Texans can’t afford to lose Schaub again, so it will be nice to get a big addition to play opposite LT Duane Brown.

9 of the past 12 Texans 1st round draft picks have been Defense. 5 have been defensive linemen. Only good ones have been Williams, Watt, and Babin (but he didn’t play well in Houston). Mercilus isn’t a surprise, Wade has free reign.