The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the market for edge rushers and could the brother of NFL great J.J. Watt be on their radar? Let’s take a look at T.J. Watt.
T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
6’5″ 245 pounds
2016 Stats: 63 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks
What’s to Like: To start with, you have to like the family name… Brothers J.J. and Derek are already in the NFL… Watt’s overall size is impressive… Motor very similar to his brother J.J… Stays active until the whistle… Has a knack for getting to the quarterback even when it appears he won’t… Hand usage is very good… Coupled with his hands, his long arms present problems for blockers… Not afraid to get his hands up in passing lanes… Solid against the run… Often finds room to shoot gaps where it seems there isn’t any.
What’s Concerning: Not what I’d call explosive… No real burst either… I’m not overly crazy about his transition into coverage… Needs to be more consistent when setting the edge; saw too many backs get outside on him… Has just one full season of starts under his belt… The effort is always there but the speed isn’t… Definitely needs to get stronger… Must develop more moves/pass rush techniques at the NFL level.
The Verdict: Watt will immediately do two things for the Steelers should they draft him; he’ll be an immediately positive locker room presence and he’ll give maximum effort on a daily basis. The problem I have should Watt be the selection is that he really doesn’t answer the ”edge rush” question the Steelers have. He’d be good against the run but he lacks the speed and bend to get around the edge on NFL tackles. Could he develop into that? Perhaps, but the Steelers need pass rush help now.
Photo courtesy: Wisconsin Athletics
Video Courtesy: Draftbreakdown.com/youtube.com