Is it possible that Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker and current Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt is the best non-quarterback in the NFL from a roster-building perspective?
It’s not that far-fetched, to be honest. Playing in a premium position and being the best player in that position has Watt, who is already on a Hall of Fame trajectory. ranked as the main cornerstone of the non-quarterback franchise by Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport who ranked the top 10 pillars of the franchise in the NFL on Thursday.
Watt ranked sixth overall in the top 10, but was the first non-quarterback behind the likes of Justin Herbert of Los Angeles, Lamar Jackson of Baltimore, Joe Burrow of Cincinnati, Josh Allen of Buffalo and Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City. Watt also surpassed Cleveland’s Myles Garrett in the standings.
If you don’t have a franchise quarterback in today’s NFL, it’s better if you have an elite quarterback to try and catch that quarterback. It’s safe to say the Steelers have that in abundance.
“Not only does he succeed, but [T.J.] Watt is the highest-ranked defensive player of all. That’s what happens when you tie Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record at 22.5.” Davenport writes about Watt’s ranking in the franchise pillars article. “Not only did Watt do that while recording 64 total tackles last year, but he also marked the fourth straight season in which the current Defensive Player of the Year racked up at least 13 sacks.”
As CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr recently pointed out, Watt is doing something like a quarterback that not even the great Reggie White ever did. Over the course of five seasons of his illustrious career to date, Watt’s average of 0.94 sacks per game is the highest in league history, as the Steelers star and Reggie White are the only players to have more than 13 sacks in four consecutive seasons (he has 72 sacks). sacks in 77 running games), according to Kerr.
Only White (nine), Bruce Smith (seven) and Kevin Greene (six) have more seasons of more than 13 sacks than Watt. In addition, Watt’s four sacks of more than 13 in his first five seasons are tied with White for the most in NFL history.
Although he is the highest in the ranking of the top 10 pillars of the franchise at 28 years old, there is no denying Watt’s greatness in general. Teams would love to have him not only as of the face of their franchise but also as the face of their defense and their build into contention in today’s NFL. He consistently wins against double and triple teams and somehow finds a way to disrupt games week after week. It’s remarkable to see.