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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) - What does it feel like to be a first-round draft pick for the Houston Texans? Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus remembers sitting on his couch and having “a whole bunch of anticipation” as he watched and waited to see where his NFL career would begin.
“Sitting on Day 1, I was pretty hopeful that I was going to go on the first day. I thought I was going to be a pretty high pick but I’m glad I fell to the Texans and I’m blessed to be with a team that has a lot of upside and going to go really far from where they were a few years back.”
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Last year’s first-round pick still remembers the feeling when he was selected and officially off of the draft board.
“It’s nerve-wracking until your name is called and just the whole world is lifted off your shoulders. You are just thinking about trying to get back to work and playing some football.”
After losing 2006 first-overall pick to Mario Williams to free agency, it came as no surprise that the Texans would look to fill the void with a first-round pass rusher in the 2012 NFL Draft. Now entering his second year with Houston, Mercilus is more comfortable in his role and is hoping to continually improve his game.
“There’s not one thing that I don’t focus on. I focus on everything within a game, whether it’s run technique, holding the edge, to my pass-rush moves, things of that sort. Just making sure I’m in tip-top shape, sharp at everything, and just learning from the older guys like J.J. and Antonio. Just watching their game helps allow me to adjust and to build that type of chemistry.”
When asked if he thinks the Texans will take another outside linebacker in the first round of the NFL Draft, Mercilus responds,
“We’ll see what happens in the draft. You never know what’s going to happen. it’s always unpredictable until that day comes and I’m just excited for who we get.”
Last-year’s first round draft pick will be watching and waiting along with the rest of Houston.