There’s excitement surrounding Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick T.J. Watt entering his rookie season. But NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein urged tempered expectations for the Wisconsin product.
Zierlein listed Watt among his five early-round picks likely to start slowly this season. He believes Watt is in a perfect spot given his tenacity and work ethic, but thinks he will need some time to develop his skill set.
“Watt might have landed with the perfect team from a fit standpoint,” Zierlein wrote. “He plays the game with a terrific motor and good physicality. He’s technically proficient off the edge. With all of that said, I could see his rookie year becoming more of a redshirt season than a productive campaign.”
This might not be what Steelers fans want to hear, but Watt is more of a project than a finished product. The converted tight end has only one year of starting experience at linebacker. He made the most of that season, racking up 11.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss.
The Steelers need an immediate boost to their pass rush, but might have to take a patient approach with Watt.