One of the stars of the Houston Texans first preseason game was first-round pick Whitney Mercilus, who had 3 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his first taste of NFL action.
Mercilus, taken with the No. 26 overall pick out of Illinois, was considered to be one of the top pass rushers in the 2012 NFL Draft. However, his ability to contribute immediately has surprised even Gary Kubiak, who talked to reporters the day after the game:
"After watching the film, he was even better than I thought he was," coach Gary Kubiak said.
Coming into the NFL, Mercilus had both elite measurables (6'4 260, 4.7 40) as well as high-level college production (unanimous All-American in 2011).
And while it's a very small sample size, he has had no trouble translating that production to the next level so far, even though he is moving from the DE position in college to the 3-4 OLB spot in Wade Phillips scheme.