TJ Watt Says Steelers Sent The House To His Pro Day

The pick is made and TJ Watt is a Pittsburgh Steeler. But had we known then what we know now, that statement would’ve come as zero surprise.

Watt sat down to talk with Missi Matthews over on Steelers.com in an interview that went up earlier today. And while he said talks between he and the team cooled as the draft crept closer, the Steelers sent everyone short of Joe Greene to the Badgers’ Pro Day.

The night before his Pro Day, he and teammate Vince Biegel had dinner with the team.

“Mr. Colbert was there, Mike Tomlin was there, Coach Porter was there, Coach Butler was there,” he told Matthews. “It was just trying to get to know everybody and it was cool to put names to faces and try to get a feel for each other off the field. It was an awesome night.”

That’s four, count ’em four, of the Steelers’ brass sitting down with Watt at once. Granted, we knew Colbert, Tomlin, and Porter attended, but I hadn’t heard about Butler being there until this interview. Watt said the dinner last 90 minutes to two hours and that was evidently enough to sell the Steelers on him. They didn’t bring him in for a visit and made the selection Thursday night.

And the team kept up their history of using their first round pick on someone they met and saw at their Pro Day, now doing so for the past eight seasons. The last time they didn’t was way back in 2009 with Ziggy Hood and in hindsight, maybe they should’ve.

It’s impossible to say if Watt was the #1 guy they wanted all along but knowing the energy they spent on him before the draft, there’s no doubt in my mind he was one of the top guys on their board.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    When I listened to the interview and heard Butler was there to I thought the same thing about having 4 guys there. They must have had a good idea from the tape that Watt was a major target.

  • joe triplehorns

    With Watt’s non-stop motor and about 15-20 more pounds of meat him and Dupree could get double figure sacks! Idk….possible.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I imagine TJ is not as over the top personality like his brother, but he seems like a stand up guy and I’m sure he wow’d us at Dinner and the pro day!

  • CP72

    This pick feels like DeCastro to me…..just to many positive traits not to be a productive player.

    Think about this front seven….Heyward, Tuitt, Hargrave, Dupree, Shazier, Harrison/Watt. There’s 4 first round picks in that group.

  • Guillermo Garcia-Gomez

    Wouldn’t that be nice? Pittsburgh hasn’t had a player with double digit sacks in 6 years.

  • BigBodyBeer

    He’s already 250 but I agree, he’ll need to add some weight to his frame. I can’t​ wait to see him get stronger with those long arms and giant 11″ hands.. he’s got some serious tools to work with.

  • Jaybird

    Did you leave out V Williams on purpose? Is he not worthy of being listed with the rest of the front seven? Lol. I’m just joking with ya.

  • Jaybird

    I really wanted a CB or safety in the 1st and 3rd rounds but I totally dig this pick. When you watch him play , he just has that something special. I think it’s his relentless motor. Combine that with freakish athleticism and incredible size, and this kid is going to be our next All Pro.

  • Michael James

    After hearing this it’s pretty obvious to me that Watt was “their guy” all along.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    No, he’s not

  • francesco

    My feeling is that the Steeler’s were thinking TE Nyoku at 1.30 until Cleveland sneaked in.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I will just say this: After all of this, this pick BETTER be a “hit.”

  • Jon Crissinger

    Steelers met with JJ when he was coming​ out for the draft. They mentioned TJ is exactly the same as JJ was. JJ didn’t get that personality until after entering the league

  • Steel Realist PAul

    It’s really the lynchpin for this draft, isn’t it? If Watt doesn’t become a legit starter, this draft seems increasingly light.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I believe that it is, yes. If he fails to make an impact or blows out a knee or two, I’m going to be extremely depressed.

  • JCLII

    That’s a shame, because he plays his heart out for us and is all over the field.