The San Francisco 49ers are trying to figure out what they want at the LEO position in their new defense, and that means plenty of edge rusher prospect workouts and visits. The team is unlikely to land Myles Garrett at the top of the draft, but they are looking at some other options further down.
One such prospect is Wisconsin’s T.J. Watt. He is currently visiting with Washington, but he told NFL.com that he has a workout planned with the 49ers, New Orleans Saints, and Miami Dolphins. That is followed by a visit to the Denver Broncos. Watt had recently experienced a lull in visits, but that has picked up as the draft approaches.
"Through the whole first half of this whole thing, my schedule had been set and nothing had really changed. Then, to have coaches call in late and kind of pack the whole weekend and have multiple workouts back to back, some people would shy away from it," Watt said. "But at the same time, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. If a coach is going to take the time to fly all the way up to Madison, Wisconsin, to see me work out, I'm going to do whatever I can to show him I can play ball for their club."
Watt, brother of NFL all-world pass rusher J.J. Watt, has not been able to break through quite like his brother, but he will still likely be a day two selection. Watt dealt with numerous injuries early in his career, and after 13 games as a reserve in 2015, he moved into the starting lineup this past season. He finished the season with 15.5 sacks, earning second-team All American honors.
Watt is projected as a potential day two pick who can get to the quarterback, but has to add to his repertoire of pass rush moves. An AFC scout told Lance Zierlein that he should keep getting better, and could work standing up or as a 4-3 base end.
"He looked a lot stronger and a lot more confident on tape this year. He needs to get bigger, but he's already a strong guy. I can see him standing or playing base end for a 4-3 team. He's going to keep getting better."
I always wonder when people scout a guy like Watt how much his brother impacts it. Clearly there is a big difference in talent, but would a scout give Watt a more positive projection given the genes? Maybe not, but I wonder if it is in the back of their mind at all.