- Draft Tracker: Round 1
Pete Prisco's Grade: B+
I like the pick. He fills a pass-rush need and he is a rising player. Still learning to play the game.
The Steelers have one of the best offenses in football, but clearly needed to get better on defense. Figuring out how to more consistently get to the passer is a good first step. Watt will help on that front. The younger brother of Texans star J.J. Watt, T.J. switched from tight end to outside linebacker in 2015 and became a starter in 2016. His lone season in the Badger starting lineup was a great one, as he totaled 11.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. Shorter and not quite as strong as his older brother, T.J. is actually longer for his size and nearly as athletic. He has both great hands and good acceleration around the edge as a pass-rusher, and is stout enough to hold up against the run as a 3-4 outside linebacker. His weakness is a tendency toward over-aggressiveness, which can sometimes send him beyond his mark in the pass-rush and get him caught against misdirection running plays on occasion as well. Still, he is considered one of the hardest workers in this draft class and teams believe he has an excellent makeup.
"The Steelers needed help in the pass rush, and T.J. Watt will help the Steelers DST. They were already a No. 1 Fantasy unit coming into the year, and this makes them even better. The Steelers DST is worth drafting with a late-round pick in all leagues." -- Jamey Eisenberg
Shane Ray: Like Ray, Watt is on the somewhat lighter side for a 3-4 outside linebacker (243 pounds) but uses his quick burst and good hands to beat tackles at the point of attack.