The San Diego Chargers selected Watt with the 198th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
In the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, he played in his first NFL game.
Derek Watt, a little history
From 2011 to 2015, Watt competed for the University of Wisconsin. He was a part of the offense that allowed running back Melvin Gordon to set records for rushing yards while a member of the Wisconsin Badgers.
He had 12 receptions for 150 receiving yards in the 2012 season. He had three receptions for 20 receiving yards in the 2013 campaign. He only participated in three games in the 2014 campaign.
In 2015, he had 15 receptions for 139 receiving yards during his final collegiate season. When Watt was selected by the Chargers in the 2016 NFL Draft, Gordon and Watt later reconnected as teammates.
He had his first career reception two weeks later, against the Indianapolis Colts, and it was good for six yards. He had a 53-yard catch on October 30 against the Denver Broncos.
He participated in all 16 games of his rookie season and had four receptions for 83 receiving yards. He played in all 16 games of the 2017 season, racking up two receptions for 35 receiving yards and six carries for 24 rushing yards.
In the 2018 season, he appeared in all 16 games and had four carries for 11 rushing yards to go along with one reception for two yards.
Is Derek Watt still on the Steelers?
No, Derek is not with the Steelers. Watt’s contract has expired, making him a free agent once more. He played for the Steelers for the previous three seasons, mostly on special teams and occasionally as a blocking back.
With Pottenbaum out of the picture, Watt is the only option if the Steelers do decide to carry a traditional fullback on the roster. The 30-year-old fullback has not had a ton of NFL teams pounding on his door to sign him.
One is left to ponder the Steelers’ commitment to keeping him. There were rumors when Derek was first hired that he was only there to help bribe TJ during contract negotiations.
But, even if true, now that TJ has been signed to a gigantic contract that runs through 2025, it doesn’t feel like Derek is a determining factor any longer. Watt has been in the league for seven seasons and is currently a free agent.
Pittsburgh has no intention of keeping a true fullback on the roster, which is the main reason they might not choose to replace Pottenbaum with Watt.
The position might not be necessary with Connor Heyward emerging as a sort of fullback/tight end hybrid.
What are the Watt brothers known for?
Football is the main focus in the Watt household. The football careers of J.J., Derek, and T.J. Watt all started in their hometown of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, where they competed in high school and later at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Since then, all three brothers have entered the NFL, where they have amassed numerous honors and significant contracts.
When J.J.’s Houston Texans faced Derek and T.J.’s Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020, who were Derek and T.J.’s opponents at the time, the brothers made sports history.
Three brothers played in the same NFL game for just the second time since 1927 during the contest. J.J. played his final game in January 2023 after declaring his retirement from the league in December 2022.
Derek became a free agent at the start of the 2023 season, while T.J. has continued playing football with the Steelers. However, these brothers have participated in other sports besides football.
The group will host Ultimate Tag, a Fox obstacle course competition series, which was announced in 2019. Derek and Gabriella Justin started dating in 2015, and two years later they got engaged.
The couple exchanged vows in a Miami, Florida, beachfront ceremony on February 17, 2018.
On February 17, 2019, they marked their first anniversary of marriage and the birth of their first child, Logan James Watt.