WASHINGTON — Once upon a time, the Washington Redskins had the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. They traded back with the Jacksonville Jaguars, acquiring the 16th pick and the 49th overall pick in exchange.
The Jags took quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the 10th pick, setting that franchise back several years. The Houston Texans were next on the clock and took J.J. Watt with the 11th overall pick, before Washington selected Ryan Kerrigan at No. 16.
In fairness, Kerrigan has been a consistent, Pro Bowl force on defense, a model leader in the locker room and a pillar in the community. Unfortunately, he is not a three-time defensive MVP. So when the Redskins are on the clock in 2017, will they get a second chance at Watt?
According to an NFL.com report, the Redskins are meeting with Watt’s younger brother, T.J. Watt, who is expected to be available in the middle of the second round.
Anyone with visions of a J.J. clone will likely be disappointed with T.J., but the ceiling is high for the tight end-turned-outside linebacker. After a slow start to his career at Wisconsin, the former Badger tallied 11.5 sacks this season, good for first-team All-Big Ten.
He also has room to grow, weighing just 236 pounds at 6-5. That’s lanky for a tight end, much less a pass rusher, and that size could create leverage mismatches if he grows into the position. For comparison’s sake, J.J. stands eye-to-eye with his brother and weighs 53 pounds more.
So where does that leave the Redskins? In good company, apparently. According to the NFL.com report, Watt is also meeting with the Cowboys, Patriots, Panthers and Lions. Wherever he lands, T.J will become the third Watt brother in the NFL, joining J.J. and middle brother Derek, a fullback with the L.A. Chargers.
One thing that should entice any team: T.J. seems to have the family work ethic, and uses his brothers as workout partners.
“We’re working out, we’re competing, we find ways to see who jumps higher, who jumps farther, who runs faster, who lifts more,” T.J. said. “It’s really fun to finally have an offseason where I’m not coming back and forth from school on the weekends to work out with him.
“To go head-to-head in the weight room is really special and I’m just enjoying it.”
So will whatever team selects him.