ESPN survey ranks T.J. Watt as the second-best edge rusher in the NFL, behind just Myles Garrett
Updated: Jul 6, 2021
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
ESPN surveyed more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts, and players to help compile the top 10 players at 11 different positions. Today they revealed their edge rusher rankings and T.J. Watt came in at No. 2, just behind division foe Myles Garrett of the Browns.
While Myles Garrett is a great player and an All-Pro, I think most would agree that Watt has had a better career so far. Just look at the numbers.
T.J. Watt's stats in 62 career games: 230 total tackles, 168 of them being solos, 49.5 sacks, 111 quarterback hits, 59 tackles for loss, 17 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
Myles Garrett's stats in 51 career games: 152 total tackles, 107 of them being solos, 42.5 sacks, 83 quarterback hits, 42 tackles for loss, 10 forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Granted, Watt has played 11 more games than Garrett, but he's finished ahead of Garrett the last two seasons when it comes to voting for Defensive Player of the Year, and Watt honestly should have won it last year, but the Associated Press gave it to Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald instead.
Besides the blasphemous of Garrett being ranked ahead of Watt as the league's best edge rusher, and NFC defensive coach had an outlandish statement on Watt in the ESPN article.
"The truth is he might not have been the best athlete at his own position,” an NFC defensive coach said about Watt in regards to his former teammate Bud Dupree who signed with the Titans in free agency. “He’s not the most explosive guy. But he’s so damn relentless and smart and technically perfect that he just wins. He’ll probably have a Hall of Fame career for all those reasons."
So was the anonymous NFC defensive coach evaluating the edge rushers on pure athleticism or their overall play? Rankings are always subjective, so you have to take it with a grain of salt, but Watt being knocked for his athleticism is certainly an odd take.