2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

by Cory J. Bonini on March 9, 2011 @ 16:37:26 PDT


Wisconsin junior defensive end J.J. Watt opted for the 2011 NFL Draft after two highly productive seasons for the Badgers. A former Central Michigan University tight end, Watt converted to defensive end and started from the onset of his transition.

In 2009, he logged 44 total tackles and 4.0 sacks. Watt's junior season showed he is a dynamic player, as he finished with 62 stops, 7.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. 


  • Size (6-foot-5 3/8, 290 pounds) and speed combination (4.84-second 40-yard dash)
  • Strength - can be seen in his bull rush
  • Long arms
  • Strong, precise hands
  • Two-way player - can get after the QB and excels against the run
  • J.J. Watt, draft prospect
    What is not to like?
    Non-stop motor
  • High character (2010 Lott Trophy winner)
  • Hard worker
  • Overcame the odds - transferred from Central Michigan as a tight end and started his first year as a defensive end
  • High upside
  • System versatile
  • Intelligent
  • Athletic - finished in the top four defensive linemen at the Scouting Combine in bench press, broad jump, vertical jump, short shuttle and three-cone drill  


  • Limited experience at defensive end
  • Sometimes overly aggressive in pursuit
  • Doesn't have an explosive first step
  • Limited pass-rush repertoire

Expected draft placement

Watt is exactly what NFL general managers look for in a first-round pick. He is smart, strong, athletic, committed to the game, a community leader, and versatile.

Expect 3-4 alignment teams to rank him higher on their draft boards. He could go as early as the Dallas Cowboys (No. 9). The Washington Redskins (No. 10), Houston Texans (No. 11) and San Diego Chargers (No. 18) are also considered strong options. The Chargers seem to be the most likely landing spot for Watt in the draft.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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