First look at No. 1 pick Travon Walker’s fit with Jags; plus, an exploding NFL trend and a legit QB battle

Lyle Ellerbee

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The major problem for NFL evaluators is identifying whether a prospect is an ideal match for the team’s scheme. For a media scout, the lack of info and insight from each individual group can make it complicated to engage in the mock draft activity when trying to match prime prospective clients with professional franchises.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the surprising increase of Travon Walker to No. 1 all round produced very a stir in media circles, with numerous observers obsessing more than the Ga product’s sack manufacturing alternatively of focusing on his intriguing characteristics as a super-sized defensive playmaker with positional flexibility.

With the Jacksonville Jaguars’ pass-hurry will need, the pre-draft debate between Walker and Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson dominated dialogue in the days major up to the major collection, as analysts weighed every single prospect’s pros and negatives.

Immediately after Jacksonville turned in the card for Walker, thoughts ensued about the 6-foot-5, 272-pounder’s relative absence of faculty output and how the Jaguars prepared to increase his skill set. What was the imagining at the rear of shelling out the draft’s No. 1 overall select on a uncooked prospect?

“For us, it was just the likely, the upside,” Pederson mentioned previous month on The Prosperous Eisen Present. “As coaches, we are privy to a great deal of film and a large amount of discussions that a large amount of folks do not get, and a great deal of information. And aspect of our job is to acquire that data. And we just felt at the time, and even sitting down right here now, that the finest for our firm was Travon Walker.

“When you glimpse at his human body of operate at Ga, from Working day 1, the day he acquired there, they moved him all up and down that defensive front. He’s a extremely multipurpose participant. You will find a good deal of distinctive items that he can do along the defensive front. And for us, we come to feel like he is likely to be a very good exterior edge rusher with Josh Allen and KC, K’Lavon Chaisson, and these fellas that we have, and Jordan Smith. He just provides to that space. And it is really a situation that we addressed in the draft and we’re content and we’re psyched and we can’t wait to get him in in this article.”

Right after expending a couple of times in Jacksonville this 7 days looking at the staff conduct OTAs, I fully grasp why Walker was the Jaguars’ alternative at No. 1. The significant edge defender is an overwhelming presence as a stand-up player in a 3-4 defense. Also, he is an explosive athlete with major hands and a non-halt motor. Walker’s pass-hurrying resources are unrefined, partly simply because, in UGA’s defense, he was not routinely requested to just pin back his ears and hunt quarterbacks. As Pederson pointed out, while, the 21-year-old’s scarce natural gifts offer you huge upside.

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