TJ Watt is the younger brother of former Wisconsin Badgers JJ Watt and Derek Watt. TJ Watt didn’t move over to the outside linebacker position until his red shirt sophomore season, after spending his first two years at tight end for the Wisconsin Badgers. After spending time learning the new positions and rehabbing a torn acl, Watt took off as one of the key pieces to the Wisconsin Badgers defense. Watt finished the 2016 season as a 2nd team All American and also earned all Big Ten honors. Many will question the inexperience of Watt, but the athletic profile, blood lines, and relentless motor make him an extremely intriguing NFL prospect.
TJ Watt is lethal with his hands. Relentless motor. Can’t wait to see how he tests. pic.twitter.com/U0eo6Dk9ex
— Steve (@SteveDraft_) January 20, 2017
Name: T.J. Watt
Class: RS Junior
Pro Comparison: Jason Babin (Retired)
Draft Grade: 2nd Round
Hand Usage: Uses his long arms to engage with a strong initial punch. Watt uses his 11 inch hands to grab and shed offensive lineman. Hands are always active and violent, pushing and pulling offensive lineman to create separation around the edge. Watt’s active hands and length should help with a smooth transition into the NFL.
Foot Quickness/COD: Initial burst isn’t as explosive as the athletic combine scores would indicate. However, he plays with great balance allowing him to re-direct in and around offensive lineman. Watt’s hips are tight and is more of a linear athlete despite testing well in all agility categories.
Effort/Motor: Motor is Watt’s best attribute. Relentless in pursuit of the ball carrier and quarterback, motor only gets better as the game goes on. Watt consistently makes plays on the opposite side of the field and will chase down ball carriers ten yards down field. Active football player from whistle to whistle.
Pass Rusher: Inexperienced as a pass rusher and has trouble stringing rush moves together. Converts speed to power extremely well but will need to learn to string a couple moves together when initial rush is stopped. Uses his length and heavy hands to his advantage utilizing a push and pull technique.
Flexibility/Bend: Average bend from the waist but has the ankle flexion to really plant and redirect to the quarterback. Strong at the point of attack playing with great balance and pad level allowing him to jolt opposing offensive tackles backwards.
Strengths: Blood lines, both brothers play in the NFL (JJ and Derek). Energetic football player with a relentless motor. Jolting first punch with non stop hand activity. Above average instincts as a pass rusher and run defender with adequate bend and flexibility to help him transition smoothly to the next level. Watt will beat you with his motor, speed, length and power throughout the football game. Considered to be an extremely intelligent football mind and a locker room leader.
Weaknesses: Has trouble stringing together consecutive pass rushing moves. Ceiling is relatively capped until he improves as a chain pass rusher. Has a solid frame but he will need to continue to bulk up and fill it out. Some hip stiffness when asked to move laterally from sideline to sideline but linear speed and motor mitigate any of those deficiencies. 3 separate knee injuries dating all the way back to 2013.