One prospect who the Denver Broncos have been showing interest in and may consider drafting during the 2017 NFL Draft is former Wisconsin defensive end/edge rusher, T.J. Watt. He is a 6'4", 252lb edge rusher who is considered one of the better edge rushers in this year's draft. Watt is ranked as the 42nd overall prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft according to CBS Sports and is ranked as the fifth best edge rusher in this year's draft.
Watt played two seasons at Wisconsin and had a breakout year in 2016. During his two-year career at Wisconsin, he totaled 70 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 defensive touchdown, 6 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles. This past season he totaled 63 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 touchdown, 4 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles. Watt earned second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors for his 2016 performance.
Edge Rusher, Junior, Wisconsin
Height: 6'4" Weight: 252lbs 40 time: 4.69 seconds
Arm Length: 33 1/8" | Hands: 11"
Bench Press: 21 reps | Vertical Jump: 37.0 inches
Broad Jump: 128.0 inches | 3 Cone Drill: 6.79 seconds
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.13 seconds | 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.20 seconds
- Good size and long arms
- High effort and never ending motor
- Plays through the whistle
- Plus run defender
- Violent tackler
- Consistent tackler who will wrap up and take you down
- Strong and violent hands
- Good initial speed off the line
- A+ instincts and football awareness
- Good at shedding blocks and getting through the traffic
- A nose for the football
- Good enough in space
- Versatile player who can blitz off the edge and up the middle
- Great character and team leader
- Bloodlines(Brother of J.J. Watt)
- Not the most twitchy athlete
- Plays a little stiff and doesn't have a natural bend when rushing the passer
- Sometimes is a little overaggressive and leaves his gaps
- Will need to add more pass rush moves
- Doesn't have the coverage skills to hang with RB's and TE's
- A smaller frame than you would like and will need to add more bulk
- Multiple knee injuries in his past, medicals will be key
Does T.J. Watt make sense for the Denver Broncos?
This seems like a John Elway type of pick, but I do not see it happening.
You have a high effort and non-stop motor defensive player who was a team leader in college. He is selfless and will play a ton of snaps and defend the run and pass. Watt to me is basically a smaller Derek Wolfe who plays linebacker instead of defensive tackle/end.
Watt is ranked as the 34th best player in the draft according to NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah
The brother of J.J. and Derek Watt started just one year at linebacker for the Badgers. He is a stand-up edge defender but he's also used as a walk-around blitzer at times. He has a tall, athletic frame for the position and is a really fun study on tape. As a pass rusher, he has a very quick first step and his hands are outstanding. He doesn't generate much power with his bull rush but he's very adept at swiping away opposing hands and closing quickly to the quarterback. He plays every snap at maximum speed and effort. Against the run, he uses his length to stack and shed tight ends routinely and his speed-effort combination is very effective on the backside. Overall, Watt doesn't have a lot of starting experience, but he could develop into an outstanding 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level.
One position General Manager John Elway values highly is the edge rusher/pass rusher position. He has drafted two first round picks and signed veteran DeMarcus Ware during his time as the Broncos GM. It's a position he plans on keeping strong and will continue adding depth to the position when a hole opens up. Well, the Broncos lost veteran DeMarcus Ware to retirement, so the Broncos are down one rotational player at that position. So it makes sense that Elway would look to add another talented player to that position.
Here's why adding Watt doesn't make too much sense. Von Miller is in his prime and is one of the better defensive players in the league. Shane Ray is a former first rounder who is entering his prime, and Shaq Barrett is also entering his prime. So the Broncos already have a ton of youth and depth at the position, so it seems unlikely that he would spend a high pick on another edge rusher.
Watt is certainly worthy of the pick and probably would be an option for them if they decided to trade back, but if they stay put at 20, I do not see them selecting Watt.
What do you think Broncos Country, do you think the Broncos should select T.J. Watt and make a strength on this roster even stronger, or do you think they should go in another direction?