When your older brother is one of the main faces of the National Football League, it will be difficult to escape the gigantic shadow of your older sibling. This is what newly drafted linebacker T.J. Watt is experiencing after the Pittsburgh Steelers made him their top draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The comparisons between the two brothers are glaring. For example, both started their college careers as tight ends, only to transition to defense and be dominant for the University of Wisconsin. Regardless of the number of comparisons between the two Watt boys, J.J. stated earlier this offseason how he feels his brother is further along at this stage of his career than he was entering the draft.
And an anonymous scout agreed with this sentiment.
In a recent article from Bob McGinn, McGinn spoke to several anonymous NFL scouts who gave their take on almost every big-name NFL prospect, and one scout talked about how he graded T.J. better than J.J. coming out of college.
“I gave him a higher grade than his brother (J.J.),” the scout said. “All he does is make plays. He’s Clay Matthews. Probably more explosive. I guess he’s learned pass-rush techniques from his brother. Uses his hands well.”
See what some other scouts said about the Steelers’ latest first round draft pick.
“He’s more of a ‘Sam’ or 3-4 outside linebacker,” said one scout.
“He’s physical, tough. He tested out well. Plays hard.” Another scout called him the best LB in the draft.
“Needs to play with more strength and base,” a third scout said. “On the ground too much.”
All high praise, and the criticism of strength and being on the ground is a very realistic criticism when you watch the college film of Watt. Nonetheless, while most assumed J.J. Watt was just pumping up his younger brother entering the draft, in regards to being more NFL ready at this stage of the game, maybe he was being truthful.
One scout certainly agrees.
Now the Steelers, and Watt, are faced with the task of getting him prepared for life in the NFL. Pittsburgh hopes he can contribute on multiple levels as they attempt to win their seventh Super Bowl title.