Anyone who is a younger sibling knows what that is like. Always being compared to your older sibling, and more often than not, the younger sibling is constantly trying to create their own path which is unique to them.
Try being the younger brother of Houston Texans superstar J.J. Watt.
That is the situation NFL prospect T.J. Watt finds himself in, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have shown tremendous interesting in Watt this offseason. Not only did Watt light up the NFL Scouting Combine, but the Steelers brass, Mike Tomlin, Joey Porter and Kevin Colbert, were all on hand to watch Watt at his Winsconsin Pro Day in person. There were even reports of the team taking Watt, and another linebacker, out to dinner following the workout.
The Steelers will be looking to find James Harrison’s eventual replacement at right outside linebacker in the coming months, but whether that player is Watt, or not, is certainly anything but a slam dunk.
First, this class of pass rushers might be one of the deepest in past years, second, reports have said the Steelers don’t see Watt as a first round talent and lastly, you just never know what is going to happen on draft day — period.
Nonetheless, in the latest WalterFootball mock draft, they have Watt headed to the Steel City. See what they say about the pick:
Pittsburgh Steelers: T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin
James Harrison played out of his mind this past season, but the Steelers have to be aware that this won't last much longer. They'll need to find someone to replace Harrison as a starter across from Bud Dupree in the near future. T.J. Watt had an incredible performance at the combine and is now in first-round consideration.
Watt certainly has something the Steelers covet in their prospects, and that is versatility. Watt has shown he is capable of rushing the passer, all while being able to stop the run and playing from the interior of the defense.
This would jive with the Steelers’ plans with their current defense, as pass rushers are anything but asked to just rush the passer in their sub package heavy system. Linebackers are now asked to cover sideline-to-sideline, drop into coverage, and rush the passer when called upon. If you watched Watt at the combine, he can do all those things.
Is Watt a first round pick? Some don’t think so, but the Steelers have to also realize if they pass on a prospect like Watt, he likely won’t be there in the second when it is their turn to make their next selection.
This is the tough part about the draft, and something the Steelers will have to consider when they put their big board together.