J.J. Watt says brother T.J. Watt is 'a lot better player than I was' at his age
J.J. and T.J. share more than just a last name
When J.J. Watt left the University of Wisconsin, he had just finished off a pair of campaigns during which he'd totaled 138 tackles (36.5 for loss) and 11.5 sacks. He was a monster-sized man that tested off the charts at the NFL Combine, and he was widely considered one of the best defensive players in his draft. He's since gone on to become a superstar and, when healthy, is the best defensive player in football.
So it's pretty high praise when Watt looks at an NFL Draft prospect and declares that player is better than he was. Here's what Watt said about one potential first-round pick in this year's draft, per the Houston Chronicle:
"He's so similar to me but he's farther along than I was at that point in the process. He's a lot better player than I was at that time. He has a lot more to grow even than I had. I think he's a really special player and it's been a lot of fun to watch him go through the process."
Of course, that player happens to be Watt's younger brother, T.J., who also starred for Wisconsin. As for those similarities, he's not entirely off base.
T.J. also racked up 11.5 sacks in his two seasons at Wisconsin, adding 99 tackles and 17 tackles for loss. He accumulated most of those statistics in one season, though, as he did not play quite as much during his sophomore year. And check out the measurables.
|J.J.||6'5"||290 lbs||34"||11 1/8"||4.84 sec||34 reps||37"||120"||6.88 sec||4.21 sec|
|T.J.||6'4"||252 lbs||33 1/8"||11"||4.69 sec||21 reps||37"||128"||6.79 sec||4.13 sec|
J.J. was taller, longer, and stronger than T.J., who appears to have tested out as a bit quicker than his older brother. That aligns with each of their reputations, and with their positions. While J.J. is a defensive lineman, T.J. is viewed as more of a 3-4 outside linebacker, a position at which you have to be a little lighter in your feet in order to occasionally hold up in coverage.
As Dane Brugler wrote in his scouting report of T.J. Watt, he also has his brother's work ethic, which will help him as he moves forward.
Although he might not have elite movement skills, Watt's initial quickness and play speed pop off the screen, using his violent hands and long arms to work off contact. His aggressiveness is a double-edged sword, leading to both positive and negative plays, but his determination, work habits and competitive drive mirror his older brother and will win over a NFL coaching staff. As long as the medicals check out, Watt projects as a starting outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
Watt is projected as a possible late first or early second-round pick in next week's draft, and it's entirely possible he winds up on his brother's team, given that the Texans have a pick in that range.
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