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PFF Snubs Steelers Star T.J. Watt from All-Pro Team



Pittsburgh Steelers OLB T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 16, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

T.J. Watt is firmly in the conversation to win Defensive Player of the Year and will likely earn another All-Pro award to add to the feather in his cap. But not everyone is convinced that Watt should earn any of those accolades. Pro Football Focus released their edge rusher All-Pro selections on Tuesday, and Watt was not on the first or second-team selections. The Steelers star was the most notable omission.

“Edge defender is the most difficult position to decipher, with elite pass rushers such as T.J. Watt, Trey Hendrickson and Aidan Hutchinson missing out. The position’s highest PFF pass-rushing grades belong to Myles Garrett (94.8) and Micah Parsons (93.7). Garrett and Parsons also led the way in pass-rush win rate, with Garrett winning 28.1% of his reps this season and Parsons at 24.2%,” PFF wrote.

Watt led the NFL with 19 sacks this season, and so it is only a formality that he will earn at least second-team All-Pro. He is closing in on milestones, and continues to shatter records that were previously not reached. Watt is the first time three-time sack king since the stat was recorded and joined his brother, J.J., as the only player with multiple 19-sack seasons in NFL history.

The argument for PFF goes beyond sacks. Watt has less pressures than Crosby and Parsons, while being equal to Garrett on more reps. Meanwhile, Watt falls below all four in pass rush win rate and comes in fifth in PFF grade. That is where the Steelers star falls short here.

Watt is the lifeblood of the Steelers defense. And now, they will be without him in Buffalo for their Wild Card Round matchup. Nothing will replace Watt, who ended up as the NFL’s sack king for the third time in his career, the only player ever to do that. Watt’s abilities can not be replicated, and when Josh Allen is in the picture, things are all the more difficult for the Steelers moving forward into this game. But they will try, and they have capable players to give them a chance.