During an appearance with Chris Simms and Mike Florio on PFT Live at Radio Row during Super Bowl Week, Pittsburgh Steelers OLB T.J. Watt offered some praise for other players around the league. Watt named one fellow pass rusher and one offensive lineman that he respects, going with the Minnesota Vikings’ Danielle Hunter and Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Danielle Hunter had a great year, I think he has a lot of very unique moves. I mean, that guy is ripped up, he has long arms,” Watt said.
He broke down Hunter’s unique pass-rush moves.
“It’s almost like a praying mantis the way that he rushes, he grabs onto the arm, and he has this jump through, and then he has this fake grab where it looks the same, and then he spins at the last minute. Tried that a couple times in practice and it’s not built for me.”
Here’s one example with Hunter grabbing onto the arm of Jordan Mailata and getting a jump through at the last second (aided by a push from the offensive lineman) to sack Jalen Hurts.
Here’s another example where Hunter grabs onto the arm of Chicago Bears OT Darnell Wright and is able to sack Justin Fields.
Here’s the fake with the spin to get another sack.
Hunter was a stud for the Vikings all season, racking up 16.5 sacks, giving him 87.5 for his career. His size and athleticism make him one of the most dangerous pass rushers in the league, and it’s cool to hear that he’s a guy that Watt watches and tries to take some aspects from his game. Watt also praised Maxx Crosby of the Las Vegas Raiders, saying he has a “hell of a motor.”
As far as offensive tackles go, Watt has a lot of respect for Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I think Lane Johnson, being able to kick back as quickly as he is and he has great hands, feet. I think he’s one of the best, for sure.”
Watt normally goes up against right tackles as he rushes from the left side, and Johnson is among the best in the game. He’s a four-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler, and a key cog on an Eagles’ line that’s been among the best in football. He’s probably the best right tackle of his era and the best in football right now, so it’s little surprise that he’s the guy that Watt named.
Watt went up against Johnson in 2020, registering a sack and three tackles in a win over the Eagles, but Johnson stood out as tough competition for Watt, and it’s clear watching him just how talented he is.
If both stay healthy and in the league, Watt could get another matchup with Johnson in 2024, as the Steelers are due to face the Eagles on the road.
Watch the full interview with Watt below.