LB T.J. Watt, Wisconsin*

6’4” – 252 lbs. – 4.69

Brother of J.J. and Derek Watt. Came to school as a tight end, then converted to linebacker. Only a one-year starter after injuring his right and left knees in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Tall with long arms, big hands, and adequate bulk. Frame looks like it may not be able to handle considerably more weight. Plays with a desirable level of intensity. Does everything out of a two-point stance; probably not a realistic candidate to play defensive end at the pro level and will probably be considered as an outside linebacker in either defensive front. Uses his length to prevent opponents from getting into his frame, with active hands to shed blocks and ragdoll opponents. Pretty disciplined with his run fits and will try to aggressively set the edge when run at. Capable of extending an arm and making tackles while engaged. Heads-up player who works through the whistle and does a good job of locating the ball. Can’t be left unblocked on the backside, because he has the speed to chase down ballcarriers when pursuing from behind. Has the burst to close, with length that gives him an impressive tackling radius. Can sometimes look like he’s playing on skates against power. Has more than enough speed and explosiveness to rush from the edge. Sometimes comes in a little bit too fast and overruns his spot. Capable of converting speed to power in order to walk back opposing offensive tackles despite his lack of bulk. Will work in some inside moves and looks sudden off the snap. Impressive change-of-direction skills and bend back to the passer. Susceptible to cut-blocks. Has quick feet and the athleticism to backpedal in coverage, although his technique looks a little bit awkward; nonetheless, works to get depth in his spot drops. Typically plays in zone coverage when he drops, where he looks alert. Fast enough to run with running backs who release out of the backfield on wheel routes. Has the type of athletic ability and build which might make him an attractive candidate to cover tight ends in man coverage as well. A very good football player whose athleticism, technique, and intensity allow him to contribute as a pass rusher, a run defender, and a coverage linebacker; biggest obstacle will be finding a team which can take advantage of his skillset, as he may be a bit smaller than most rush linebackers in odd fronts. Would be best playing downhill as a strongside linebacker in an even front.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: