First-year starter named First Team All-Big Ten after leading the conference in sacks with 11.5. Made 63 tackles (15.5 for loss), forced two fumbles and broke up four passes. Recorded eight tackles (1.5 for loss) in 2015. Missed his redshirt freshman season in 2014 due to a right knee injury.
Strong, forceful linebacker with outstanding bloodlines. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands and sells out to make plays. Displays a good head for the ball, fires up the field filling gaps in run defense and nicely redirects to the ball carrier. Quickly gets back to balance off the initial hit and plays aggressive football with a nasty attitude. Takes on and sheds blocks, holds his ground against offensive linemen and constantly gets behind the line of scrimmage. Wraps up tackling and brings ball carriers down at the point of attack.
Used primarily in the box and rarely asked to make plays moving in reverse. Average pass rusher. Turned in one year of consequential production at Wisconsin.
Watt displayed himself as a forceful linebacker and prototypical strong-side player last season. Very effective in the box or up the field, he must improve his skill making plays in reverse but should be productive in the proper system.