What was once a bold prediction is now selling rookie T.J. Watt short. Sure, it is goofy analysis to extrapolate from a one game sample, but Steelers rookie T.J. Watt is now on pace for 32 sacks in his rookie season. Ten seemed optimistic and bold a few hours ago but are you doubting a Watt to destroy expectations? Seems like a bad bet.
T.J. Watt continues to exceed expectations
Watt did not just put up two sacks. He added six tackles and an interception. He was all over the field. No other player has had two sacks and an interception in their rookie debut. His brother J.J. has yet to accomplish that feat. T.J. did in one game.
Coming into the NFL, Watt was raw. He had hardly played linebacker at Wisconsin and was a former tight end. However, he hit the ground running and has improved in every aspect. To say that he has leaped over his learning curve is an understatement. He was supposed to sub in for James Harrison and learn behind the veteran. James Harrison subs in for him. He was supposed to be raw in getting to the quarterback. Two sacks in his preseason debut have combined with two sacks in regular season debut.
So far, any bar you put in front of Watt, he leaps over it with ease. The Steelers have not had much success with rookie first round picks. In the old Dick LeBeau days, rookies sat, no matter what their status. Ryan Shazier and Bud Dupree came along slowly, and Artie Burns had ups and downs as a rookie. None have shined in the first two months of a season like Watt has.
Be on the lookout for Watt this season because if he can continue to produce stat lines like this, he is going to start getting rookie of the year attention.