J.J. Watt played only three games during the 2016 season and was ranked #35 on the NFL’s “Top 100” List last year. In 2017, he played in five games and ended up ranked #84.
As Watt said last year, the list is a joke.
In the five games he played in 2017, Watt had zero sacks, defended two passes, and made fifteen total tackles. He still showed that quick burst and All-World swim move to make plays in the backfield. He was slowly getting himself closer to his usual immortal self until a broken leg proved once again that Watt is also flesh and blood and sinew.
What Watt will be known for in 2017 doesn’t even have to do with the football field. Watt raised more than $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief. He was later named Walter Payton Man of the Year as well. Watt used his platform to do what he could to help out with the tragedy that hit Houston last year.
This year, Watt will once again be looking to start Week One after playing in only eight games combined the previous two seasons. He’s optimistic he’ll be ready to go. And like last year, I’m sure there will be some growing pains once he gets back on the field. But if Watt is anywhere close to his Defensive Player of the Year award years, he’ll easily eclipse No. 84 on this list next year.