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Steelers All 90: Will This Be the Year Derek Watt Gets a Greater Role?

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Steelers FB Derek Watt

All 90 is a Pittsburgh Steelers Now series profiling each of the 90 members of the Steelers 2022 offseason roster.

44 • Derek Watt, seventh-year fullback, Wisconsin
6-foot-2, 234 pounds, 29 years old

Acquired: The Steelers signed Derek Watt as an unrestricted free agent from the Los Angeles Chargers on March 26, 2020.

Last season: Played in all 17 games and made four starts as the Steelers primary fullback, though that role came with minimal usage on offense. He finished with one carry for one yard and three catches for 15 yards while playing in just seven percent of the team’s offensive snaps.

CareerA sixth-round pick by the Chargers in 2016, Watt has had a productive NFL career thanks to his abilities on special teams, and not his contributions to an offense. His career high in rushing yards is 24 in 2017 and receiving 83 yards as a rookie in 2016.

College: Watt started as a linebacker before moving to fullback at Wisconsin. He played in 47 games and made 24 starts. He finished with 30 catches for 309 yards and a touchdown.

Camp outlook: With rookie Connor Heyward playing exclusively tight end this spring, Watt’s role as the Steelers lone fullback seems fairly secure.

The question this training camp will be whether Matt Canada decides to use his fullback more in the offseason. With Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, the Steelers did not go under center very often, and the utility of a fullback in a shotgun formation is minimal.

If the Steelers go under center more often in 2022, we could see more of Watt in the offense.

Regardless of his offensive role, Watt also should be expected to remain a key cog win the Steelers’ special teams units.

Future: Watt’s three-year contract with the Steelers expires after the 2022 season and he will be an unrestricted free agent.

The rest of the 90:

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