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Grading the Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers Take T.J. Watt 30th Overall

In this year’s NFL Draft the Pittsburgh Steelers had the 30th selection in the first round. They used that selection on Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt.

In this year’s NFL Draft the Pittsburgh Steelers had the 30th selection in the first round. They used that selection on University of Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt.

Grading the Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers Take T.J. Watt  30th Overall


Coming into the draft the first thing most people noticed was that T.J. Watt was J.J. Watt’s little brother. What they failed to realize is how much of a good player his is by himself. If name value got players far in this league then guys like Duron Carter would be entrenched starters solely based on their last name.

T.J. Watt was drafted in the first round because he is phenomenal football player in his own right. He started by blowing up the Big Ten this season with 63 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, an interception, and two forced fumbles in 13 games. After the season he was named First Team All-Big Ten and Second Team All-American. He also blew up pre-draft preparations by having an excellent showing at the NFL Scouting Combine. Watt measured in at six feet, four inches tall weighing 252 pounds. He was also measured having 33 ⅛ inch arms and 11 inch hands. He didn’t stop at his measurables though, he performed extremely well in on-field drills. Watt ran the 40 yard dash in 4.69 seconds, clocked in an impressive 6.79 second three cone drill, 4.13 20 yard shuttle, 10 foot, eight inch broad jump, and a 37 inch vertical leap. T.J. Watt also has intangibles that coaches love. He has an amazing work ethic and a high motor. The Steelers got a phenomenal player in the first round who should immediately turn into a fan favorite.  

How He Fits

Now let’s set the record straight right now, T.J. Watt was not drafted to be an immediate starter, he was drafted to be the heir apparent to James Harrison and create a deadly pass rush with Bud Dupree, Cameron Heyward, and Stephon Tuitt. The combination of Watt and Dupree might even have the potential to give fans a blast from the past to the days of Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene, that’s how much potential he brings to this pass rush. T.J. Watt will be a part of the linebacker rotation and get ample playing time, but he will be sitting back and learning for the most part. T.J. Watt is not the present, but he is the future. Combining the work ethic of Watt with Harrison’s mentoring, Steelers fans should be extremely optimistic for the future of the team’s pass rush.

Final Grade

T.J. Watt is a Pittsburgh Steeler. He’s got that swagger and work ethic that will fit in with that blue collar town and fans will love him. I love the pick personally. Watt is extremely athletic with a high motor and had production in one of college football’s toughest conferences, leading it in sacks. He will help this pass rush strike fear into opposing quarterbacks for years to come. Combining his: college production, pure athleticism, work ethic, and potential for the future, the Pittsburgh Steelers get an A for this pick. 


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