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Whitney Mercilus: "I'm Here To Contribute"

As the 2012 NFL Draft inched closer, there was a growing sense that the Houston Texans were looking to find a player who could fill Mario Williams' role in Wade Phillips' 3-4 defense but at a much cheaper price, of course.

The Texans landed their man Thursday night with the 26th over all pick in the draft where they picked up Whitney Mercilus from the Illinois Fighting Illini.

It only took one breakout year, with Mercilus leading the the nation in sacks with 16 and forcing nine fumbles last season. That's all Phillips needed to see to see. And Mercilus is confident one, himself.

"I think I've proven myself to move well in space during the combine and also at my pro day," Mercilus said. "I'm here to contribute and be a part of something great here."

"The thing is, I got it last year. When I was given the opportunity to be the starter, I took advantage of it and definitely broke out in 2011. Now, coming up to this level, I feel like I can do the same things. I'm going to prove my worth and get started right away to prove those negative stereotypes wrong."

Read more about the Texans at the Battle Red Blog.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.