Since the main focus for the Houston Texans in the 2012 NFL Draft was replacing Mario Williams, it's only fitting that landing a pass rusher late in the first round was exactly what the team was hoping for.
ESPN.com's Jeff Chadiha sees this marriage working and compared the 6-foot-3, 260 pound Whitney Mercilus to Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers. Smith is also a former college defensive end who made the transition to playing the 3-4 pass rushing scheme last season.
This from Chadiha:
Mercilus may have been a one-dimensional defensive end at Illinois, but that one dimension -- pass-rushing -- is exactly what the Texans needed. They already have a coach (defensive coordinator Wade Phillips) who knows how to turn undersized college defensive ends into dominant pass-rushing outside linebackers.
Mercilus also has exactly the kind of résumé that should make Phillips' job much easier. Mercilus made his name in college by leading the country in sacks (16) and forced fumbles (nine) as a junior last fall. He wasn't much of a threat against the run, but the Texans won't be as concerned about that early in his career.
Read more about the Texans at the Battle Red Blog.