Why J.J. Watt's rookie season should be a reminder to fans to show patience

The Houston Texans fandom hated J.J. Watt when he was first drafted.
2011 NFL Draft
2011 NFL Draft / Chris Trotman/GettyImages

There was a time when the best player in franchise history, J.J. Watt, wasn't well-liked. Coming out of the 2011 NFL Draft, Watt wasn't being heralded as a major get by the Texans fandom. He was booed at the draft and fans roasted the Texans on social media. It was rough.

Fans were mad the Texans picked Watt and not one of the top-rated rookie corners, like Prince Amukamara. Others were made yet, as Christian Ponder, a highly rated quarterback, was picked next by the Minnesota Vikings after the Watt selection.

In fact, while there were a lot of big names in the draft, like Von Miller, Cam Newton, and Richard Sherman, few names could even compare to the legacy of Watt. Easily the best player to come out of the 2011 NFL Draft, not a single player comes close, and for good reason. Watt was the best defensive player in the NFL for nearly a decade and won three Defensive Player of the Year Awards.

It's hard to argue with such success. Yet, we bring up the story of Watt's selection to remind fans to give the crop of rookies from the 2024 NFL Draft class a chance. The team had a bunch of picks and while most of them are unlikely to see the field, they are still worth our patience. The team picked up a lot of project-type players with the idea that they'd be more impactful in 2025 and 2026, as opposed to 2024.

So it may take some time to see these players fully develop. While Watt was fairly good as a rookie, he did take time to develop into the Defensive Player of the Year that he was. So it would behoove the fandom to show the current crop of rookies patience and remind yourself that until we see what they can truly do, we have no idea if they were the right or wrong picks.