NFL Draft 2017: Pittsburgh Steelers select T.J. Watt 30th overall
PITTSBURGH — T.J. Watt joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 30th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Wisconsin outside linebacker is Pittsburgh’s third first-round pick in the position in the last five years and slots in as the apparent long-term replacement for James Harrison on the right side of the Steelers defense.
Watt, whose older brother J.J. Watt stars for the Houston Texans, played just two years for the Badgers and declared for the draft on the strength of his junior season. He compiled 63 total tackles – 38 solo, 25 assisted – with 15.5 tackles for a loss, and 11.5 sacks in his final collegiate campaign.
His lone career interception was returned for a touchdown. Watt also forced two fumbles and recovered one.
Pittsburgh finished the 2016 campaign starting 2015 first-round pick Bud Dupree at left outside linebacker opposite Harrison, who will turn 39 before organized team activities (OTAs).
The veteran Steeler re-signed with the team on a two-year contract this offseason. Pittsburgh also has Arthur Moats and Anthony Chickillo as backups on the edge.
Steelers 2017 NFL Draft picks
1st round: No. 30 overall – T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
2nd round: No. 62 overall
3rd round: No. 94 overall
No. 105th overall
4th round: No. 135 overall
5th round: No. 173 overall
6th round: No. 213 overall
7th round: No. 248 overall
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