A once-a-day look at a draft prospect that either has been targeted for the Patriots in a mock draft, has had a private workout for New England or has made an official visit to Gillette Stadium. In the end, mocks are good for discussion and workouts and interviews could be a smokescreen or a sign of real interest, but these are players who make sense as being on the Pats’ radar for the upcoming draft.
Name: DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
Height, weight: 6-5, 290 pounds
Hometown: Pewaukee, Wis. (Pewaukee HS)
Junior season stats: 13 games (13 starts); 62 tackles (42 solo), 21 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 8 batted balls, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries
Career stats: 26 games (26 starts); 106 tackles (74 solo), 36.5 TFL, 11.5 sacks, 13 BB, 3 FF, 4 FR
Honors: Lott IMPACT Trophy, second-team All-America (Associated Press, Sports Illustrated), first-team All-Big Ten, Academic All-Big Ten, team MVP
Combine: 40 dash – 4.81s; bench press – 34 reps; vertical – 37 in.; broad jump – 10-0; 3-cone – 6.88s
Why he’s a fit for the Pats: Watt began his college career at Central Michigan as a tight end, but transferred to Wisconsin after his freshman season and was flipped to the other side of the ball. After sitting a year because of the transfer, Watt became a two-year starter for the Badgers and showed at the Combine that he’s an athletic, strong performer. Pro Football Weekly’s respected draft guru writes of Watt, “the top five-technique in the draft…could be a very solid starter for next 10-12 years.” And colleague Greg Bedard has him slotted as the Pats’ pick at No. 17 in his first mock draft.
In lieu of a short highlight video, click here to see Mike Mayock explain why Watt and Cal’s Cameron Jordan are the top five-technique 3-4 ends in the draft.