CBS Sports NFL columnist Pete Prisco has released his ranking of the Top 100 players entering the 2021 season, and has Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt tabbed as the sixth-best player overall and second-best defender in all of football.
“He led the NFL in sacks with 15 and was the runner-up as Defensive Player of the Year, despite missing one game. He is also a force against the run,” Prisco writes.
Watt finished as the runner up for NFL Defensive Player of the Year a season ago, but does have three consecutive Pro Bowl nods and back-to-back First-Team All-Pro selections to his name.
He led the league with both 15 sacks and 23 tackles-for-loss in 2020. He paced the NFL with eight forced fumbles in 2019.
The only defensive player ranked ahead of Watt is Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who clocked in at No. 2.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes took the top spot as the best player entering the 2021 season.
The only other Steelers to appear in the rankings were safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and defensive end Cam Heyward, who came in at No. 60 and 65, respectively.