By: Skyler Meikrantz
Over-reactions during the off-season are a part of life when it comes to talent evaluations. Personally, I haven’t seen a bigger over-reaction and over-evaluation than that of Travon Walker. Travon Walker has been labeled the “premier edge rusher” coming out of the University of Georgia and a lot of this has to do with the NFL combine that he recently participated in. Walker’s combine was good don’t get me wrong, this isn’t hating on the new hot trend because it’s the new hot trend. We all need to take a deep breath and turn the film back on. Walker does show upside on his film, it’s there…against the run, passing situations, he flashes for sure.
Against the run is where I believe Walker flashes the most. He shows a good ability to shed away from linemen, find the ball, and he wraps up well at the line of scrimmage. He has shown to be shaky at tackling in other circumstances though and just gets completely stood up at the line, leaving him essentially out of the play.
He shows this same propensity for being stood up and out-leveraged at the line in passing situations. Now I don’t know about y’all, but if I’m taking an edge rusher in the top 10 or 1st round of the NFL Draft they better be able to get to the Quarterback and win one-on-ones.
It’s not often you see Walker really win a one-on-one, and it’s not often you see him line up as a true edge. Walker doesn’t flash many pass-rush moves, but he does have in his arsenal some power and a pretty good bull rush.
In summary, I believe Walker is in need of a position change preferably to a 3-4 defensive end, where he can really use his power and bull rush to push the pocket and flush the quarterback out. Another option, since he does show to be good vs the run is a move to a strong side backer, he’s athletic enough to do this for sure; Sean Lee, a great linebacker ran a 4.71 40 time while Walker ran a 4.51, he’ll just have to work on that tackling issue for sure. Walker vastly benefited from Georgia’s crazy stunts at the line of scrimmage and the players around him as well and is definitely in need of some work on his all-around game. Is Walker a number one overall guy like Maurice Jones-Drew thinks? Absolutely not. Personally, I don’t think he’s even a 1st round guy, there’s really too much that needs to be worked on or developed with him.