The Texans agreed to terms on a contract with first-round draft pick Whitney Mercilus on Wednesday evening.
Mercilus, an outside linebacker drafted 26th overall out of Illinois, will be the Texans' sixth of eight 2012 picks to sign. Their only other remaining unsigned picks are their two third-rounders, wide receiver DeVier Posey and guard Brandon Brooks.
The 21-year-old Mercilus led the NCAA with 16 sacks and tied an NCAA record with nine forced fumbles in 2011. He is expected to become part of a three-man outside linebacker rotation in Houston with Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed.
"He's doing good," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said of Mercilus after mini-camp practice on Wednesday morning. "He's doing a lot, trying to learn special teams and handling his job outside, so he has a lot on his plate right now. He has a lot of ability and should be able to help us a lot."