(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Former Buffalo Bills great and the all-time sack leader, Bruce Smith, told TMZ Sports that T.J. Watt has the best chance to someday break his record.
Watt is currently on pace to break Smith's record of 200 sacks, as he's had 49.5 sacks in his first four years in the NFL. Smith had 44.5 sacks in his first four years in the league from 1985-1988, five fewer than what Watt has posted.
Smith produced consistently for almost two decades, however, as he had double-digit sacks in 13 of his 19 seasons in the NFL.
"You have to understand there has to be a level of consistency that will last for 14, 15 years," Smith told TMZ Sports. "So, there are a lot of factors that go against you from being able to, heck, even reach 130 sacks or 140 sacks. ... The number one factor is health."
Smith says Watt is the one to watch for now because he's young. Von Miller and Watt's brother J.J. both have just over 100 sacks in their careers, but they are both 31 years old.
Smith says Aaron Donald and Myles Garrett also have the potential of breaking his record, but he's impressed with Watt the most.
"T.J. Watt is playing outstanding," Smith said. "I had the chance to work with him at the Pro Bowl this past year and meet and talk to him. Just an outstanding young man from the Watt family. Just his technique, his desire to play the game, obviously with great coaching from Mike Tomlin and some of the other defensive coaches. I am thoroughly impressed with this young man."
At Watt's current pace, he'll have to average nearly 13 sacks a season the next 12 years to reach over 200 sacks and break Smith's record.
Watt was named team MVP for the second consecutive year and is the odds-on favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year. Watt leads the league in sacks (15), tackles for a loss (23) and quarterback hits (41).