Derrick Morgan of the Tennessee Titans has a difficult challenge in our first AFC South “Be The GM” matchup since there are a couple members of the Houston Texans that would be picked ahead of him (Duane Brown and Arian Foster) even without J.J. Watt. Brown and Foster would have been the pick for many of the other teams in the NFL, but Watt has become a transcendent talent as a 3-4 defensive end at the age of 24 after just two seasons.
Watt had a promising rookie season with 5.5 sacks and 58 tackles, along with a breakout game in the playoffs. But his 20.5 sacks and 16 pass deflections turned Watt into one of the most dominant defensive players in the entire NFL. In 2012, Watt become the first player to ever have more than 100 grading points from Pro Football Focus. Watt had 83 total pressures on 687 pass rushing snaps while also recording 52 of his 55 tackles against the run.
Watt also achieved numbers that he may never match again while playing the entire season with an injured elbow.
Watt’s pass rushing ability makes life extremely difficult for opposing offenses and the Texans ranked 10th in passer rating against at 80.0.
Morgan was the 16th overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech, but tore his ACL during the first part of his rookie season.
The 2012 season was the first in which Morgan, who is just a few months older than Watt, appeared to be fully recovered from his injury, recording 6.5 sacks and 21 knockdowns of the quarterback. With that much activity in the pass rush, Morgan figures to increase his sack count and begin to be in the conversation with Watt as one of the best young pass rushers in the entire NFL, let alone the AFC South.