In 63 hundredths of a second after the snap, T.J. Watt is already, on average, a quarter yard past the line of scrimmage and racing toward the quarterback. That's the fastest pass-rush get-off not only by any player this season but also by any player in the previous two, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
How he pulls that off is a two-part story: alignment and jump. With some help from NFL Next Gen Stats, let's take a closer look at how the Pittsburgh Steelers' talented outside linebacker becomes an instant threat in opponents' backfields, helping him to 4.5 sacks so far this season.
An exceptional pass-rush get-off
The first part of Watt's get-off is simple. He lines up closer to the line of scrimmage than anybody else in the NFL.
The league's tracking data measures a player's location by a point in between the chips in each of his shoulder pads -- roughly the base of his neck. With this data, we learn that Watt is the only player in the league among those with at least 60 pass rushes from a position along the line (excluding plays as a second-level defender) to line up, on average, within one upfield yard of the center.