The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed wide receiver Duece Watts to their practice squad, the team announced on Wednesday.
Watts, a rookie out of Tulane, is at the team’s UPMC Rooney Practice Facility ahead of the club’s first practice of Week 3.
The Steelers are short two wide receivers, as Diontae Johnson is on the injured reserve list and Gunner Olszewski will start the week in the concussion protocol. The club had an open spot on the practice squad after nose tackle Breiden Fehoko was promoted to the 53-man roster.
A 6-foot-1, 196-pound Chicago native, Watts got his college start at Jones College, a junior college in Mississippi. After two seasons, he transferred to Tulane, where Watts was a productive red-zone target.
He caught 17 touchdowns over three seasons with the Green Wave, and he also averaged a whopping 17.6 yards per reception, though he had a relatively low volume. His most prolific season was as a redshirt senior in 2022, when he caught 33 passes for 657 yards (19.9 yards per catch), and scored eight touchdowns.
Despite the big-play ability teased by his collegiate production, Watts had mediocre pre-draft physical testing. He ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash and had well below-average agility drills, but did post a 37.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot-5 inch broad jump for an overall 7.0 Relative Athletic Score.
Watts was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers, but was released on Aug. 23. The Steelers recently brought him in for a workout.
Watts has a twin brother, who goes by Phat, who is playing his sixth college season at Tulane this year.
Watts will join Simi Fehoko and Jacob Copeland as wide receivers on the Pittsburgh practice squad this week, with Miles Boykin and Dez Fitzpatrick available as reserves on the 53-man roster behind starters Calvin Austin III, George Pickens and Allen Robinson II.