Linebacker | Wisconsin | Redshirt Junior
Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 252 pounds
2016: 63 tackles (38 solo) in 14 games; 15.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, four pass breakups, one interception (17-yard return for a touchdown); First-Team All-Big Ten, Lott IMPACT Trophy quarterfinalist, All-America in only season as a starter
Career: 71 tackles (42 solo) in 27 games; 17 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, one interception
40-yard dash: 4.69 seconds
Bench press: 21 reps of 225 pounds
Broad jump: 10 feet, 8 inches (tied for first among linebackers)
Vertical jump: 37 inches (tied for second among linebackers)
3-cone drill: 6.79 seconds (second among linebackers)
20-yard shuttle: 4.13 seconds (tied for first among linebackers)
60-yard shuttle: 11.20 seconds (first among linebackers
Summary: The Watt-to-Wisconsin connection continued with T.J., who followed the shoes of older brothers J.J. and Derek in suiting up for the Badgers. Now, he’ll try to become the third Watt drafted by an NFL team. Texans defensive end J.J. was the 11th overall pick in 2011, and Chargers fullback Derek was selected in the sixth round in 2016. T.J. began his college career on offense as a tight end, but he was redshirted in 2013 and sidelined by knee injuries for all of 2014 and the 2015 spring practice. Watt hit the field for the first time in 2015 as a reserve linebacker and became a productive starter in 2016.
Stacking up: NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah ranked Watt as the 34th overall prospect in a list before the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. Jeremiah wrote that Watt “could develop into an outstanding 3-4 outside linebacker” despite limited experience. Jeremiah also wrote that Watt is “a really fun study” on game film where he appeared as a stand-up edge defender and walk-around blitzer.
One call away: T.J. said he appreciates the fact that his brothers have gone through the pre-draft process and are a phone call or text away. He believes that access will help continue his development after limited action on defense.
“I’m only scratching the surface,” T.J. said during interviews at the combine. “I’ve only played defense for 18 or 20 months. If I can do all the things I did this last year what can I do when I’m under the tutelage of an NFL coach? Obviously lack of film lack of experience point that’s come across; I think it’s not a problem with my work ethic and my bloodlines and stuff like that.”