While he ultimately did not take home that elusive NFL Defensive Player of the Year award following an outstanding season, Next Gen Stats say Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt was the top “disruptor” in football.
Watt led the league with a disruption rate of 18.4%, a metric utilized to quantify the amount of havoc created by a pass rusher. He posted 80 total disruptions, which also led football.
“Essentially, every pass-rushing metric we want to explore responds by shouting ‘T.J. WATT’ at us, as if we’re asking a magic mirror who’s the most disruptive of them all,” NFL.com’s Nick Shook wrote. “He provided league-best production despite sitting out in Week 17, too. Another season like this would be hard to ignore when deciding Defensive Player of the Year.”
Watt also paced the league with both 15 sacks and 23 tackles-for-loss in 2020.
Watt was not the only Steeler who appeared among the top ten disruptors of 2020. Outside linebacker Bud Dupree — now of the Tennessee Titans — clocked in fifth in the rankings.
Dupree posted a disruption rate of 15.7%, even though he missed Pittsburgh’s final six games of the season with a torn ACL.