The Pittsburgh Steelers have high hopes for T.J. Watt, whom they selected with the 30th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. The younger brother of famed pass rusher J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans, he is extremely physically gifted but is also very raw, having just started playing defense the past two years.
On that note, Steelers linebacker coach Joey Porter — a guy who once dominated on the edge for the Steelers — is excited about Watt’s progress so far.
Porter on Watt: "T.J. is a smart guy. He picks up things real well. Rarely makes mistakes. I am happy where he is as far as progression." pic.twitter.com/kWatsVt9Rk
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 18, 2017
This isn’t the first time Porter has praised Watt recently, either.
Joey Porter talks about the current state of the outside linebacker corps. pic.twitter.com/ylNtdmNuPu
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 15, 2017
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler was recently at Steelers minicamp practice and noticed Tomlin getting a bit hyped about Watt’s quick first step.
Which Steelers LB had the quickest first step in this drill? "Watt!" yelled Mike Tomlin about No. 90 (left) pic.twitter.com/Arkkxkjl8W
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 13, 2017
Pittsburgh is desperate for a pass rusher not named James Harrison to step up and become a nightmare for opposing offensive tackles. Right now, it appears Watt has what it takes to be that guy, and we can’t wait to see what he does when preseason games roll around, let alone the regular season.
For what it’s worth, in his final season at Wisconsin — his only real season as an outside linebacker — Watt racked up 63 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.