T.J. Watt is a nice football player and a great fit for the Steelers defense. He’s also the younger brother of the best defensive player in football. You’ll probably hear a lot about that in the coming weeks.
The younger Watt told The Ringer last week, “I would always blame little stuff on being his little brother. If I did bad in school, it would be, ‘I’m sorry I’m not J.J. Watt.’ Just little stupid stuff. I was trying to blame everything on it.”
He’s not J.J. Watt. First, they play differently on the field, despite both being former Wisconsin end rushers. Second, the younger Watt has far less competitive football under his belt, having basically two years of college ball, and only one full season on defense, totaling just 22 college games, with 63 of his 70 career tackles coming this season.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein called Watt a “long-limbed effort rusher who posted impressive numbers against the run and pass in just one year as a starter. He is a tireless worker who pursues from snap to whistle and his brother, J.J., will be a tremendous resource for technique and pass-rush plan.”
Even in the guy’s NFL profile is a comparison to his brother.
The good news for the Steelers is that they didn’t need a ton of help on either side of the ball, so taking a guy who may take a year or two to develop is smart drafting. Though, it might be a bit of a stretch taking him this early and one has to wonder if the Steelers could have traded out of the first round to take Watt on Friday.
ESPN’s Louis Riddick lauded the pick though, suggesting the Steelers need more players who can put pressure on the quarterback. They were, at times last season, lacking a strong pass rush, and Riddick said Watt is, “a tremendous athlete they can continue to mold in the Pittsburgh way.”
Watt is actually the third brother in the family to make the NFL, as the middle Watt brother Derek is a fullback for San Diego. He was picked in the sixth round. T.J. went 30th, and J.J. went with the 11th pick. Yep, in the older brother’s shadow again.