Wisconsin Football: Derek Watt’s NFL Draft Profile


NFL Draft Profile: How former Wisconsin football fullback Derek Watt looks heading into the draft

The NFL Draft is fast approaching at the end of April, and former Wisconsin football players are hard at work trying to earn a spot on an NFL team. Among them is fullback Derek Watt, who hopes to continue his career at the next level.

The younger brother of the best defensive player in the NFL – J.J. Watt – Derek Watt doesn’t skate by on his last name alone.

He’s known as a hard worker who’s a true team player. He showed that by switching to fullback – a position with about as little glory as there is on the football field – after coming to the Badgers as a talented linebacker.

More badgers: Tanner McEvoy's NFL Draft Profile

Watt did what the team needed him to do for four years, and now he’s set to try to do the same for an NFL team.

Here’s what NFL teams see when they look at Watt’s draft prospects.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers


  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 236 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.69 seconds
  • Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches
  • Vertical jump: 33.5 inches
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.19 seconds
  • Bench press: 19 reps (225 pounds)

(Drills run at Wisconsin’s pro day)

Strengths: Versatility, hands

Watt is a capable blocker who can be effective in the passing game.

His true strengths lie in his ability to be a utility man of sorts on the field, lining up in a traditional I or offset I backfield as a fullback or playing the more NFL-friendly role of the H-back.

Watt can take on a linebacker in the hole or shoot past him and pick up a few yards on a checkdown route.

One thing’s for sure, Watt won’t shy away from playing special teams to earn an NFL spot. His willingness to play where a team needs him will go a long way at the next level.

Weaknesses: Position

Derek Watt is a great fullback. No one is doubting that.

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The problem is, he’s a fullback.

Not many NFL teams even use a fullback anymore, and those who do aren’t likely to keep more than one on the roster (other than a team like the Green Bay Packers, who has a young player sitting behind an aging vet).

Watt has the skills to be an NFL player, but he’s playing a position that is a dying breed at the professional level.

Last impression:

In the Badgers last game – the Holiday Bowl against USC – Watt had a nice showing, giving Wisconsin’s offense a spark.

Watt carried the ball five times for 32 yards (6.4 per carry) with a long of 19 yards, and caught two passes for 12 yards.

He helped the badgers pull out a 23-21 victory over the Trojans.

Next: Joel Stave's NFL Draft Profile

Final word:

Derek Watt has the talent to be in the NFL. For a team that is drafting a fullback, he should be at or near the top of the list.

If he doesn’t get drafted, he’ll be picked up as a free agent and given a chance in training camp.