One of the many ways fans and writers can amuse themselves during the offseason is to conduct and analyze mock drafts. What void will teams try to fill when it becomes their turn in the draft? Only each team knows for certain, but fans and writers sure do like to guess.
A recent mock draft conducted by WalterFootball.com has a player with a very well-known last name heading to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round. With the No. 30 pick in the 2017 draft, the Steelers will select—Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt.
The younger brother of Houston Texans superstar J.J. Watt, T.J. began his college career as a tight end. He ended up switching over to defense but didn’t really play until last year due to injuries. But then he made the most of the time he had by recording 38 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, one interception, and 11.5 sacks last season.
TJ Watt so lethal with his hands and using them to get to the QB. Perfect display here. He’s going to be good pic.twitter.com/vr68ywvcUP
— Jared Tokarz (@NFLDraftInsider) March 22, 2017
As nice as his stats were, teams still looked at him as a raw prospect since he was only a defensive player for two years. In one of them, he didn’t even play! But then came the combine and teams fell in love with those numbers:
- 6’5” and 252 pounds
- 37” vertical
- 10’8” broad jump
- Great size – 11’ inch hands & 33 1/8” inch arms
While he may be raw, he has the athleticism and drive that a coach loves to see in every player. The only downfall could be his last name if the team expects him to be anything like his brother. It would be incredibly unrealistic to think he could be just like his brother. He will need time to develop on his own.
With so little time on defense in college, his best is probably still to come. While James Harrison is a workout warrior that appears to have discovered the fountain of youth, his days have to be numbered. Maybe by the time he reaches the end of them, Watt can be ready to step in for him and start.