The Houston Texans' first round pick, Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus, will likely be moved to outside linebacker in the same manner that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips modified playmaker Mario Williams in the 3-4 scheme. Mercilus led the nation with 16 sacks in 2011, including nine forced fumbles.
It's now apparent that the Texans were looking more for a replacement for Williams than a receiver to put opposite of Andre Johnson. CBS is reporting that Phillips has confirmed Mercilus will move to the linebacking corps, and the Illni star would've been a household name had he not declared after his junior season:
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said that Mercilus would have been a top 10 selection next April had he stayed in school and played at the level he did last year, when he recorded 16 sacks.