PFF scouting report: T.J. Watt, Edge, Wisconsin

The PFF analysis team breaks down the prospects of Wisconsin's T.J. Watt ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft.

| 2 months ago
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

PFF scouting report: T.J. Watt, Edge, Wisconsin


Name: T.J. Watt

School: Wisconsin

Position fit: Edge defender in either a 4-3 or a 3-4

Stats to know: Went from 12 pressures as a sophomore to 56 pressures as a junior.

What he does best:

  • Closes extremely well in space. Great ability to finish plays.
  • Plays violently versus run and pass. Attacks pullers and kick out blocks instead of waiting for them to come to him.
  • Has good initial pop despite slender build. Won’t get moved off line of scrimmage on contact.
  • Impressive agility for his height. Allows him to win in numerous ways versus the run.
  • Long arms well and has numerous pass rushing moves he can transition off a bull rush.
  • Above-average burst off the snap helped lead to 10 sacks, 16 QB hits and 30 hurries on 279 rushes.

Biggest concern:

  • Light for the position though with the frame to pack it on.
  • Much of his production came unblocked or versus tight ends.
  • Only one season of production. Played 661 snaps in 2016 after playing only 174 snaps in 2015.
  • When an offensive lineman gets into his body he’s done. Gets locked up too tight often and couldn’t get hands off.
  • Scheme at Wisconsin put him in a lot of favorable blitz situations.

Player comparison: Willie Young, Chicago Bears

Neither Young nor Watt is eye-poppingly athletic, but both have more than enough to get by. They both use their leverage well for their height and have enough agility to keep tackles honest. Young has had a strong overall career.

Bottom line: Adding 10 to 15 more pounds of muscle could transform Watt into one of the top edge prospects in this class. He’s already got a varied skillset that dominates tight ends, but fails to translate versus tackles nearly as often. Given the progress he made in one year at Wisconsin, it would not surprise to see Watt continue to improve as he moves to the NFL.

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  • AJ

    nice, finally something written about him without mentioning his brother

    • Frank Yi

      Agreed. I’m sick of all these Derek Watt comments too

    • ShaneMacG

      And there you just mentioned him.

  • Jaret Radford

    Watts SPARQ puts him at a 93.0 percentile athlete for EDGE defenders so I would beg to differ that he is eye popping athletic. His combine numbers speak to a freakish elite level athlete.

    • SeattleSteve

      AJ Hawk had “freakish” athlete combine numbers… he wound up being the slowest player on some awful Packer defenses.

      • Hekthore Warro

        But also Clay Matthews was a freakish athlete specially after combine but also had more concerns because he didn’t had stats to put him as first rounder and look where he is now

        • ShaneMacG

          I agree. He gets the most publicity but when you check out his numbers on PFF he has been horrendous. Playing out of position and several injuries has sapped his talent.

          • Joe Doe

            Yeah, he should get back on the ‘roids.

  • ShaneMacG

    20 bucks is a little steep for this Draft Pass. Bring it down to $9.99 and I will purchase it.

  • Joe Doe

    PFF has him at 11th for his position. I have little doubt that his last name will make his selection earlier than that, and I don’t blame the team that does.