Packers' Matthews weighs in on Watt

Michael Cohen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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GREEN BAY - Each new cycle of the NFL draft brings with it a fresh set of comparisons. Player A most closely resembles Player B, and would you know that Player C is the reincarnation of Player D?

Former Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine Sunday, March 5, 2017, in Indianapolis.

It’s unavoidable and, for the most part, fairly trivial. Sure, the comparisons paint a mental picture for football fans around the world, but the accuracy of such analogies is often suspect when viewed through hindsight’s fickle lens.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped a number of talent evaluators from labeling former Wisconsin standout T.J. Watt the second coming of Clay Matthews, an outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers. And after months of hype and mock drafts and analysis, both parties are aware of their draft-induced connection — especially with the Packers’ needs at outside linebacker.

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“Obviously everyone’s going to expect big things out of him with how well (older brother) J.J. has been playing in this league,” Matthews said this week. “I think he just wants his shot, and I know some of the mock draft boards have him potentially coming here, which would be great if he’s even half the player that his brother is, but I’m sure there’s pressure on him. But I’m sure if he’s anything like his brother, he’ll have a drive and work ethic that can’t be matched.”

On paper, the two players compare favorably from a physical standpoint. Consider their numbers at the NFL scouting combine:

Clay Matthews, USC

» Height: 6-3

» Weight: 240

» 40-yard dash: 4.67

» Bench press: 23

» Vertical jump: 35.5

» Broad jump: 121

» 3-cone drill: 6.9

» 20-yard shuttle: 4.18

T.J. Watt, Wisconsin

» Height: 6-4

» Weight: 250

» 40-yard dash: 4.69

» Bench press: 21

» Vertical jump: 37

» Broad jump: 128

» 3-cone drill: 6.79

» 20-yard shuttle: 4.12

Said Watt of the comparisons to Matthews: “It's great. Anytime you get compared to a great player like that it's a great comparison. I personally don't shape my game after anyone else.”

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