UnitedHealthcare Health insurance that includes all Western PA hospitals
Monday April 23 2018
Leave this field empty.

Steelers draft pass rusher Watt in draft's first round

PSR Logo
The Steelers selected Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt with their first-round pick Thursday night.

PITTSBURGH—It was a long wait for the Steelers on opening night of the NFL Draft, as they picked at number 30. Head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert feel their first round pick, 6-4, 252 linebacker T.J. Watt from Wisconsin, was worth the wait.

“It’s always excited to get that first pick. We’ve had our eyes on him since early fall. After their season, coach [Paul] Chryst asked us to give an idea on what his draft value may be before he decides to [enter the NFL Draft],” Colbert said. “He’s a solid football player who’s only scratching the surface. He’s a converted tight end. It was remarkable one-year production. We expect natural growth.”

Watt feels he is a good fit for the Steelers’ defense.

“I’m ecstatic to be a Pittsburgh Steeler. I knew schematically [Pittsburgh] was a great fit for me. I was intrigued by them. I had a gut feeling come draft night it was a good match,” Watt said. “When the Packers traded back, I thought it was a good chance I would go to the Steelers. I know Coach Chryst spent a good deal of time [in Pittsburgh] when he was at Pitt.

He arrives at Pittsburgh with a chip on his shoulder as he tries to get out from under his brother’s shadow. Watt is the younger brother of Houston linebacker J.J. Watt and Chargers fullback Derek Watt. After his junior year at Wisconsin, where he earned second team all-American honors and first team all-Big Ten honors with 63 tackles, including 15.5 tackles-for-loss and 11.5 sacks, he chose to enter the NFL draft.

“Everybody knows me as J.J. Watt’s younger brother. I don’t think people really know who I am at this point. I can’t wait to get to Pittsburgh and be my own person,” Watt said. “I feel like I’m truly scratching the surface. I’ve watched James Harrison for years growing up. I can’t wait to get in that locker room.”

Head coach Mike Tomlin is also looking forward to start tutoring Watt and feels he has all the qualities to make a good football player.

“T.J. is a rock solid young man. He doesn’t have a lot of experience at the position but has a lot of upside. He’s a quality guy. He’s worthy of the pick and we’re excited about the upside of his growth.,” Tomlin said. “I think he gains a benefit from his brothers being in the NFL. His outlook and mentality was beyond a new player.”

Even though he is relatively new to the linebacker position, Tomlin thinks he is advanced for his age.

“He can come off the edge, cover people, and come off a rover front similar to what we do here,” Tomlin said. “I wouldn’t necessarily characterize his play as being raw. His inexperience was not evident in is tape.”

Watt was only a one year starter as he redshirted his freshman season (2014). He saw limited action his sophomore season when he appeared in all 13 games and had eight tackles and three pass break-ups. He switched from tight end to linebacker in the spring entering his sophomore year. He will arrive in Pittsburgh over the weekend to start making arrangements in his new city.


In terms of betting between the blue lines, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the public darlings of the Eastern Conference, however it is the Vegas Golden Knights who have dethroned the Pens as the top-wagered NHL team this year, and it looks to stay the same way as we enter the 2018 NHL Playoffs.
Blue LineFeature OnePress RoomTop Story
Allow E.C. Matthews to lay down the truth of the impression a college basketball coach should leave on his players. “This is my guy,” the emotional senior guard said of his coach Dan Hurley. “I know we’re not the same color, but he’s definitely my father.”
Feature TwoOn CampusPress RoomTop Story
Mar. 7, 2009 was more than a sunny, brisk day in Pittsburgh. That day nine years ago was hardwood ecstasy, a constant drug that flowed through the veins of a western Pennsylvania college basketball junkie faster than it takes the bathtub section of I-376 to overflow with water after a raging rain storm.
Feature ThreeOn CampusPress RoomTop Story
A to Z is a sharp, complete betting guide for the 2018 NCAA Tournament, pointing you in the right direction of every trend, angle and wiseguy play.
Feature FourOn CampusPress RoomTop Story
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3
Josh Bell had not hit a walk-off home run since he was a member of the Altoona Curve in 2015. He changed that Friday with a soaring shot for the left field loonies.
Custom 1North Shore Notes
Francisco Cervelli is as passionate about the current state of Venezuela as anybody you'll find. Last month, the Pirates' catcher spoke passionately about the movement, his country's state of affairs and the future of Venezuela.
Custom 2North Shore NotesPress Room
A quick look at the Pittsburgh Sports Report staff
Custom 3
Monday night was more than a game. For Jameson Taillon, it was another heave in an ongoing push to liberation from a disease that can break down the toughest of men.
Custom 4North Shore NotesPress Room