There have been many great defensive players in the NFL’s history. However, when looking at the current NFL landscape it’s pretty apparent that there is one who is aiming to be the all-time best. That player is J.J. Watt, and he’s one of the most dominant forces in league history.
Not to take away from the likes of Reggie White, Bruce Allen, or Jack Youngblood, but when Watt hangs up his cleats he will could be the greatest defensive lineman to ever play. Yeah, it’s a bold statement, but given his numbers through his first five years it’s not absurd to make that claim.
The 27-year-old already boasts an impressive resume for Canton. He’s a 4x First-Team All-Pro, 3x Defensive Player of the Year, 4x Pro Bowler, and 2x sack champion. In addition, Watt already has the same number of NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards as Reggie White.
Watt is an absolute monster on the football field. His 74.5 sacks trail only White for most over the course of a players first five seasons. Numbers like that don’t come from pure luck. He’s dedicated to being the best to every play the game.
If J.J. Watt retired tomorrow he’d be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee. Sure, he’s only played five seasons, however, if you prorate his numbers over a 12-year career you’d come up with HOF worthy statistics.
On average, Watt records 14.9 sacks per season. If that number remains the same, over 12 years he will hit 178.8 sacks. That would comfortably place him top-five in NFL history. Of the current top-five (Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Micheal Strahan, Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene) all are enshrined in Canton.
It’s still early in the career of J.J. Watt. He’s got plenty of time to capture another Defensive Player of the Year award, earn a spot on a few more All-Pro teams, or add to his sack total. We can’t predict the future, but the chances of J.J. Watt becoming this greatest defensive lineman of all-time are looking quite promising.
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