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T.J. Watt snubbed in favor of Myles Garrett… yet again



T.J. Watt snubbed in favor of Myles Garrett… yet again

We may never know why the world continues to underrate Pittsburgh Steelers‘ star edge rusher T.J. Watt. The latest atrocity came Wednesday, when ESPN released their top-10 edge rusher rankings for 2024, as voted on by NFL executives, coaches and scouts around the league.

Just months after being snubbed for 2023 NFL Defensive Player of the Year in favor of Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett, Watt found himself ranked No. 2 in this year’s edge rusher rankings. Who was No. 1? Who else but Myles Garrett?

On Watt’s ranking, Fowler writes:

One voter called Watt the “Aaron Donald of pass rushers,” the player who should top every list.

Watt didn’t quite match that feat, but he’s back where he belongs — in the conversation at the top. An injury-riddled 2022 campaign dropped him to fourth on last year’s list.

His game-wrecking ways were on full display in 2023, leading the NFL with 19 sacks and finishing second in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

“He can’t be labeled a high-motor guy — he’s just exceptionally hard to block, probably the hardest in the league,” a high-ranking NFL official said. “He has technique, power, counters, violence, bend. Everything you want.”

Watt has earned four All-Pro first team nods over the past five seasons, and his 96.5 sacks through his first seven years ranks third all time behind Reggie White (110) and DeMarcus Ware (99.5).

On paper, Watt outperformed Garrett in most statistical categories in the 2023 season, outside of pass rush win rate.

T.J. Watt vs. Myles Garrett (2023)

Stat T.J. Watt Myles Garrett
Stat T.J. Watt Myles Garrett
Sacks 19 17
Batted passes 6 3
Forced fumbles 4 4
Fumble recoveries 3 1
Tackles for a loss 19.00 17.00
Pass rush win% 16.20% 27.80%
Passes defensed 8 3
Interceptions 1 0
Defensive TDs 1 0

Despite the snub for No. 1, Watt did still manage to climb in the rankings, having been voted as the No. 4 edge rusher in the NFL ahead of the 2023 season.

Watt’s highest-ranking vote this year did have him at No. 1, though one voter went rogue and ranked him at No. 5. Side note: if there are four edge rushers in the NFL better than Watt, please, please enlighten me.

After Garrett (No. 1) and Watt (2), Cowboys’ Micah Parsons (3), 49ers’ Nick Bosa (4) and Raiders’ Maxx Crosby rounded out the top-five.

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