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Steelers' Rookie LB T.J. Watt - 2017 Draft Yearbook Scouting Report

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Steelers' Rookie LB T.J. Watt -
Draft Insiders' 2017 Yearbook Scouting Report

NFL Rookie Report – NFL Draft 2017
Steelers' Linebacker T.J. Watt #90

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Steelers' rookie LB T.J. Watt has started on the outside this season. He currently has totalled 74 tacks with 6 sacks, 1 FF and 1 interception. He has been a key part of the Steel curtain that plays for AFC leadership on12/17 vs the Patriots that will have a huge bearing on AFC playoff matchups and home field advantage.

Linebacker T.J. Watt #90 - Scouting Report March 2017
OLB T.J. Watt #42 - 6-4, 255, Wisconsin - Sp. 4.65 Rating 90
Hindu Theory: Ryan Kerrigan

Explosive dynamic redshirt junior completed his career with an amazing breakout performance after a limited earlier stay in Madison. Brother of NFL defender JJ Watt. Like JJ, he also converted to defense from tight end entering college. Earned 1st team Big Ten and 2nd team All-American by DraftInsiders.com in 2016. Excellent combination of size, speed, athleticism and tenacity. Took his game up a few levels in 2016 where the game slowed down and he instinctively picked up schemes, blocking angles and the ball to respond naturally and quickly. Big athletic frame and the movement skills to attack the line or move laterally or in reverse. Finally, healthy from the prior knee injury, he flashed dominant skills in both run and pass defense. Tough physical defender who strikes with a powerful punch to get blockers off balance and use his good speed to make his move. Though not a refined quick twitch edge athlete, he can win with speed and will likely play more up as a linebacker in the pros. Emerged as one of the rising prospects in this draft class after an excellent final season. Shows perhaps the best technique development in this class, working out with his Pro Bowl brother JJ. Quick burst off the ball often gets tackles off-balance and allows him to cross their face. Displays flexibility to avoid their reach and turn the corner with very good closing speed. Possesses a balanced spin move to counter inside and a better than expected bull rush. More effective playing up where he projects best to the backer role in the pro 3-4 scheme. Powerful edge defender with broad shoulders and impressive upper body development. Shows he can get hands under the tackle's reach and walk much bigger pass-blockers back. Good pursuit speed, with the instincts and determination to chase down ball-carriers from behind. Explosive tackler and just learning to dislodge the ball on impact. Shows good ball awareness, often ripping and tugging when he gets the chance. At the point vs the run, he can anchor well vs big tackles and picks up the ball with the ability to separate and chase. At times, he takes on blockers too high and gets washed out of the play. Sets the edge very well vs the run with the girth to hold his ground and functional strength to neutralize tackles or tight ends even in combo blocks. Projects as an OLB in either front best, though could be a 4-3 weak side end in some schemes. Among the very best pure edge rushers in this draft, though could be even better with more experience and diversity in his rush moves. As a junior, he started all 14 games and had 71 tackles, a team-high 15.5 TFL, a team-high 11.5 sacks, 13 QB hurries, 2 FF, 1 pick and 4 PBU. In 2015, played in 13 games with no starts and made 8 tackles, 1.5 TFL, no sacks, 4 QB hurries and 3 PBU. First two years comprised redshirt and injury seasons in 2013 and 2014. A knee injury forced him to miss 2014. At the NFL Combine, he came in over 6’4”, 252 lbs. with long 33 1/8” arms and huge 11” hands. He ran a 4.69 time with a 1.61 ten-yard split and did 21 reps. He added a 37” VL, a 10’8” BJ and looked very sharp in the positional drills and had excellent times of a 6.79 three cone and a 4.13 in the short shuttle. Best suited for the attack backer role in a 3-4 defense where his playmaking ability off the edge shows a fast-developing elite skill set. He flashed many of the same skills as. Fast rising prospect jumped into the early rounds off a big postseason following a breakout 2016 effort. Power and fine burst with positional versatility. Similar to Ryan Kerrigan coming out of Purdue in body type, scheme versatility, pass rushing skills and overall demeanor. Rising hard-nosed defender with the intangibles to get the most out of his fast-developing skill set. Flying up the board and a top 25 pick off his impact ability. Steelers, Ravens, Browns and Packers interested. First round bubble prospect.
Draft Projection: 1st Round