With the 30th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select … Wisconsin EDGE T.J. Watt.
Early reactions of the selection are, well, joyous.
Watt, the younger brother of Houston’s J.J. and Los Angeles’ Derek, tested off the charts at the combine and checked every single box that the franchise has looked for in edge rushers over the last 10 years or so.
The Wisconsin product has great bend off the edge and has some seriously violent hands despite starting just one full season as a pass rusher after making the switch from tight end due to injuries.
In terms of value, this is a home run pick for the Steelers after one of their top targets — Jabrill Peppers — came off the board at No. 25 overall to Cleveland.
The freakish linebacker was arguably the second best pass rusher in this class and the Steelers were able to wait, getting a physical specimen to fall to them late in the first like Bud Dupree did two years ago at No. 22 overall.
Watt should be able to come in and provide the Steelers with tremendous depth behind incumbent starters James Harrison and Bud Dupree. And who better to learn from than Harrison when it comes to taking care of your body and providing a great pass rush off the edge?
He likely won’t see the field more than 20-30 percent of the time in year one, barring injury, but with a chance to continue to hone his pass rush skills and improve against the run, the pressure of not starting from day one should help Watt reach his ceiling for the Steelers.