J.J. Watt and Wheels Up Founder and CEO Kenny Dichter smile on the stage at the Wheels Up Super Saturday Tailgate event on the eve of Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas on February 4, 2017. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
From one NFL star to another, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is asking Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to treat his little brother, first-round pick T.J. Watt, like any other rookie.
T.J. Watt, an outside linebacker out of Wisconsin, was taken by the Steelers with the 30th overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft, joining older brothers J.J. and Derek in the NFL.
The 22-year-old Watt is the first Wisconsin defender selected in the first round since J.J. went 11th overall to Houston in 2011.
The Texans' All-Pro defensive end said he texted Brown -- they were teammates at Central Michigan before Watt transferred to Wisconsin -- and offered some ideas.
"Look over my brother, make sure to haze him a little extra for me," Watt told ESPN on Friday about his exchange with Brown.
In his first full season as a defensive starter, T.J. Watt recorded 15.5 tackles for loss, including 11.5 sacks, in 2016 for the Badgers and earned second-team All-American honors.
The Texans will host the Steelers on Christmas Day, which will provide the brothers a chance to play in the same game for the first time.
"I played with him in the backyard a bunch, I've seen him play a bunch, we've never been on the same field in full uniforms competitively before," T.J. Watt said of J.J. on Thursday night on a conference call with Pittsburgh media. "I think that will be really cool and a weird day for me.
"He has such good instincts, such a good nose for the ball -- he's a natural playmaker. He's always been a natural athlete. He's always been a little bit more smooth (an athlete) than I was. He can make some moves and has natural abilities that didn't necessarily come as easily as it comes to me. But I don't want to say natural because I've seen the work. He plays the game with so much joy and it's fun to watch."
After the younger brother was taken by the Steelers, J.J. Watt tweeted about the Dec. 25 game: "Christmas Day is gonna be fun @_TJWatt!"
The Watt brothers have a close relationship, 28-year-old J.J. said.
"We realize we can use it to each other's advantage, appreciate the competition and the fun that we bring in each other's lives," J.J. Watt said. "It's a blast to watch each other grow."
Derek Watt, a 24-year-old fullback, appeared in all 16 games last season with the San Diego Chargers.
"Congrats @_TJWatt!!! #ProudOlderBrother," Derek Watt tweeted Thursday night.