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Steelers Report Card: Grading the acquisition of FB Derek Watt

BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after the signing of free agent Derek Watt.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers brass felt Derek Watt was worth a free agent contract without asking you or any of us. That’s okay. The right people are paid to make those decisions, while we judge from afar.

For some reason, I’ve been given the responsibility to rate the performance of Kevin Colbert, Omar Khan and company on nothing but speculation. It’s not easy, but I’ll give it a whirl. Despite my less than prestigious BTSC teaching certificate, I have to issue the necessary disclaimer. You know the story; of course, I’m not a football coach, or a teacher, but I play one in blogs and podcasts. All offseason, I had certain expectations that the Steelers would be sitting at home on prom night and watching while the other kids with deep pockets grope the sophomore class. But then a group of Steelers banded together much like the citizens of Bedford Falls to save George Bailey from twenty years of prison discomfort in Its a Wonderful Life and restructured their deals to free up cap space. So voila, we are back in business.

Assessing game day grades is an extremely difficult and somewhat thankless task. While the coaches’ grades, of course, are what counts the most, the media and fans can’t help but evaluate as well. All letter grades are simply based on the eye test of somebody watching at home. That’s me. Then the masses come in like a flock of seagulls and poop on the efforts of the author, only to fly away and hide behind their online moniker.

Grading personnel decisions is even tougher. We have to wait nearly six months to actually know if our grades our on the money. This time I decided to enlist my friends to help. Since I don’t have any...I recruited a few of my colleagues at BTSC. They resisted, but relented. But I now have to name my next five kids Jefferson, Lancelot, Dave, Tony and Cliff Harris is Still a Punk. Joke’s on them though. I think the vasectomy took.

With that being electronically said, let’s take a look at BTSC’s early perceptions:

FB Derek Watt - Los Angeles Chargers
Overall Grade: C+

Fans love nepotism. Since the Steelers (kind-of) got it wrong with the Edmunds brothers (Trey and Terrell) they get to try it again with two-thirds of the first family of football. The Steelers made Derek one of the highest paid in the game at his position by signing him for three years at $9.75 million. At his position, PFF ranked Watt third for 2019. With Roosevelt Nix vacating the position due to an extended injury last year, the run game suffered. Watt has perfect attendance in his career so far. The hope is that J.J. and T.J.’s middle brother can help get the running game back on track and be a surprise scorer as well. The contract is a little rich for some people’s liking, but Derek Watt ably fills a couple of voids.

Tony Defeo: B-

Addresses two needs: one at fullback and one on special teams. Not crazy about price tag, though.

Jeff Hartman: C

Watt’s signing fills two positions, special teams ace and fullback, but comes at a steep price. The Steelers better find a way to make him a bigger part of the offense to make the signing worth it.

Lance Williams: D

The signing of Derek Watt, while not sexy, is necessary because it replaces the loss of Nix and Tyler Matakevich. If Watt’s contract was Wiz’s (Stefan Wisniewski), I’d be okay.

Dave Schofield: C

Steelers fans will fall in love with Derek. Not missing a game in his entire NFL career is his biggest upside.

K.T. Smith: C+

Really like him as a player, just don’t trust that he’ll be used enough on offense to justify the contract.

Bryan Anthony Davis: A-

I love it. Derek is a special teams phenom and a great blocker that has played in every game so far in his career. Watt could be a versatile, blue-collar weapon for the Steelers. Now we know “Watt’s Happening”.

Now it is your turn to play teacher. Use the polls and the comments section below. We can compare notes in the teachers lounge.


How would you grade the Steelers’ signing of FB Derek Watt?

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  • 16%
    (810 votes)
  • 63%
    (3154 votes)
  • 17%
    (857 votes)
  • 2%
    (104 votes)
  • 0%
    (42 votes)
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