Steelers select T.J. Watt in first round of the NFL Draft

Posted on Apr 28 2017 - 12:32am by Rachael McKriger
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The Pittsburgh Steelers seemingly have their replacement for Lawrence Timmons.

The Steelers selected T.J. Watt- yes, the younger brother of J.J. Watt- with the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. After paying tribute to the late Dan Rooney, Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis announced the pick.

The Steelers have a history of going with linebackers in the NFL Draft. In the last five years, Jarvis Jones, Ryan Shazier and Bud Dupree were three straight linebacker selections. The streak was broken last year when the Steelers selected cornerback Artie Burns. However, it has been restored again.

In college, Watt starred at Wisconsin for two years before declaring for the NFL Draft after his junior season. In two seasons, Watt appeared in 22 games where he totaled 70 combined tackles, 11.5 sacks (which all came in his junior season) and one interception (which also came in his junior season). In addition, Watt has two forced fumbles to his name.

At the NFL Combine this year, Watt ran a 4.69 40-yard dash time, while recording 21 bench press reps. He also had a 37-inch vertical jump and a 128-inch broad jump.

NFL Draft expert Lance Zierlein had this to say about Watt during his draft analysis.

“A long-limbed effort rusher who posted impressive numbers against the run and pass in just one year as a starter,” Zierlein wrote. “He is a tireless worker who pursues from snap to whistle and his brother, J.J., will be a tremendous resource for technique and pass-rush plan. While he is unlikely to win a race to the edge, he’s a plus run defender who can get to the quarterback with plus hand work and relentless effort.”

The Steelers still have seven more picks left in the draft, which will air on Friday and Saturday.


Follow me on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, for all Steelers coverage.