The last time a hometown hero landed on the Packers (Jared Abbrederis) it did not bode well for the star Wide Receiver. An ACL tear ended his 2014 campaign, and another injury in 2016 ended his Packers career. (Although he has signed with Detroit recently) Now with Julius Peppers returning to where it all started for his career in Carolina, the Packers are desperate for pass rushers. So is it time to stay local and draft the best college player from Wisconsin in the upcoming draft? Will the youngest of the Watt brothers save the Packers pass rush in 2017?
What are his strengths?
Even though TJ Watt only had one full season under his belt, he produced at a very high level, recording 11.5 sacks, 63 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. Watt also received first Team All-Big Ten honors, and awarded second-team AP All-American honors. Watt also is a very good tackler overall. He has a knack for always being where the ball is. He can produce well in pass coverage, run stopping, and pass rushing. Watt is also to close up open running lanes really fast, something most college linebackers cannot do.
What are his weaknesses?
Watt’s lack of experience is vital. As mentioned earlier, he only has one full season in his career while at Wisconsin, even though that one year proved to be successful, only having one year to show off your abilities and play the game will prove costly. Watt is also on the smaller side when compared to other Linebackers in this year’s draft. His height is great for a Linebacker at 6’ 4”, but he can be a much better player if he adds some weight, Watt is currently only 252 pounds.
When will he be drafted?
I have Watt going in the mid to late first round area. It is possible he may slip down into the second round due to his inexperience, but his overall ability to play Linebacker and pressure the quarterback will most likely keep him in the first round.
Where does he fit on the Packers?
Watt can easily make an immediate impact on the Packers mediocre pass rush, and the Packers defense overall. With Nick Perry resigned, Clay Matthews a mainstay on the defense, and with Blake Martinez on the up and up, it may be difficult to find a starting spot for Watt, but he is versatile, and he can come in and play wherever and whenever his name is called.