TJ Watt Proving He Was Biggest Steal of 2017 NFL Draft

Isaiah De Los Santos
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker TJ Watt is the biggest steal of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker TJ Watt is the biggest steal of the 2017 NFL Draft. / Joe Sargent/Getty Images
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The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to a hot start to the 2020 NFL season, thanks in part to that intimidating Steel Curtain defense. A key presence on that defense is TJ Watt, who has started in each of the 56 games he's played in for the Steelers since being drafted in 2017.

Watt's stats over his first few seasons show that he was an absolute steal, especially in comparison to other edge defenders taken in the first round.

The outside linebacker leads his fellow first-round selections in a number of key categories (tackles, sacks, forced fumbles, and even interceptions) that demonstrate his instant dominance in the league.

Watt rose to prominence in his junior season at the University of Wisconsin, racking up an impressive 15.5 tackles for loss (4th in the Big Ten) and 11.5 sacks (1st in the Big Ten). Watt's campaign was good enough to vault him into the first round of the 2017 draft, but he was selected at No. 30 behind more hyped up prospects, like first overall pick Myles Garrett.

The linebacker found the perfect defense-oriented landing spot in Pittsburgh and has blossomed, earning 2 Pro Bowl selections and 1 All-Pro nod (First Team in 2019). He's currently second in the league this year with 14 tackles for loss.


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