Starting defensive end – J.J. Watt
J.J. Watt is a beast. Plain and simple.
He is perhaps the best defensive end to ever play in a 3-4 system as he has the size and strength to eat up blockers and stuff the run, but he also has amazing tools to get after the quarterback, which he does often.
Weight: 289 Pounds
Career Tackles: 371
Career Sacks: 74.5
Watt is fresh off his third career NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award (in just five NFL seasons). He was also the first player to ever record two seasons of 20-plus sacks as he did so in both 2012 and 2014 (20.5 in each season).
There’s nothing that says Watt is ready to slow down and perhaps this coming season we could all see even more explosion out of J.J. for two reasons.
One reason, he is healthy. In 2015 Watt suffered a reported five torn muscles to go along with a broken hand. Amazingly he has never missed a game, but you could see him laboring at times as the season wore on.
Coming into 2016 with a clean bill of health is huge, and he may be able to keep the wear down thanks to the team’s offseason moves. Which brings us to reason two, he hopefully won’t be on the field as much.
With a porous running game in 2015, the Texans struggled to keep long drives going. Bringing in running back Lamar Miller, guard Jeff Allen, center Nick Martin, quarterback Brock Osweiler and receivers Will Fuller and Braxton Miller will go a long way towards keeping Watt fresh. Look for him to be even more of a menace with less of the strain on his body.
Season prediction: 75 tackles, 18.5 sacks, 1 interception
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