Steelers pick hometown cancer survivor Conner

T.J. Watt celebrating after returning an interception for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Purdue in West Lafayette Ind. Frame to grow int

At 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, Conner returned to the lineup with 16 touchdowns last season.

But the relationship Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert have with Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst from his days at Pitt certainly didn't hurt when it came to Watt. "We're not going to reimburse you for your gas mileage".

They've taken advantage of a loaded draft class without making any moves. It wouldn't surprise me if Watt became an above-average contributor for a playoff team as a rookie. Finally healthy in 2016, he won a starting job and excelled, garnering second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors with 63 tackles, 15.5 for loss, and 11.5 sacks.

That decision, and the hours of learning both a playbook and the technique needed to be a dynamic edge rusher, led him to the Rooney Sports Complex Friday, where he'll be asked to fill the Steelers' need for a dynamic edge rusher. He said the team expects a natural growth and sees no reason why Watt can't contribute and be a "significant" player. "My first exposure to him was the LSU game at Lambeau (Field) earlier previous year in September, and just to watch him with some of the things he was asked to do in that game". Watt isn't going to win with speed very often but he uses his hands well, never takes a play off and he's incredibly athletic for his size. Just 10-12 family and friends eating catered Chipotle - "Can't go wrong there", he said - at the Watt residence in Pewaukee, "where it all started". He has shown he can make plays even though he is a raw prospect.

Another area for concern is regarding injuries.


Enter Watt, who flipped from tight end to defense in 2015, though the transition was slowed after he injured his right knee in spring practice.

There are other question marks - he's not a pure pass rusher, he lacks burst speed, he plays with a narrow base - but the Steelers think that's stuff Watt can pretty easily improve upon.

"He didn't have a lot of catches overall, but I think when you look at what he did, the big-play ability, at times, was there", Kiper said.

From one National Football League star to another, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is asking Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to treat his little brother, first-round pick T.J. Watt, like any other rookie.

Did T.J. say anything at HIS dinner with the Steelers?

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