J.J. Watt is called by many as the best 3-4 defensive end in the 2011 NFL Draft. Find out what makes Watt so promising in our scouting report.
6’6, 285 pounds | Defensive end | Wisconsin
Pass rush: Watt is not a classically athletic player who will dominate the edge with blinding speed and flashy moves. He is a high-motor player with a relentless appetite for pressuring the quarterback. Watt was often double-teamed as a junior and saw his production drop because of it. Shows a nice swim move when working inside as a three-technique defensive tackle. As an outside defensive end, in a five or seven-technique, he is not a pass rushing threat. Watt excels at getting his hands up to defend the passing lanes and block the quarterback’s vision.
Pursuit: As mentioned above, Watt is a high-motor, high-intensity player who does a great job hustling through plays. He will attack and pursue. Has enough speed to chase from behind. His long arms allow him to catch runners from behind.
Quickness: Shows good initial burst and explosion off the snap. Does show a great first step that allows him to knock the offensive lineman off balance. In comparison to other defensive ends his quickness is not worth noting, but if you look at Watt as a defensive tackle or 3-4 defensive end he is impressive in this regard.
Run defend: It must be said that most consider Watt a five-technique end in the NFL. During his time at Wisconsin he did a great job against the run playing tackle and end. He is able to anchor against the outside run and can set the edge to force the run inside. Is very active and productive against the run. Has the agility to work down the line and get to the edge. Has the size to plug holes and force runners to pause. Will draw a double-team in run situations. Is ideal for the defensive end position in a 3-4 defense.
Strength: Watt has the strength required to handle double-teams and set the edge against the run. Could stand to gain muscle and overall strength. Has the frame to add 15-20lbs. Will get pushed off the line if a blocker gets in to his pads. Could improve strength with better understanding of leverage.
Technique: Overall you have to be impressed when looking at J.J. Watt. He has the ideal size, speed and agility for the position. He does a nice job using his hands to break free of blocks. Has a nice inside swim move. Could benefit from adding 1-2 pass rushing moves. Has the size and strength to play inside on passing downs.
Final word: Watt began his journey to the NFL as a tight end at Central Michigan. After one season in which he caught eight balls for 77 yards, Watt transferred back to his home state of Wisconsin and walked-on to the Badgers football team.
Watt started all 13 games in his sophomore and junior seasons, progressing into one of the elite defensive ends in college football.
A junior entry to the 2011 draft, Watt is as NFL-ready as any defensive lineman in the class.