2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Walker Little

  • Walker Little, 6-7/309

  • Offensive Tackle

  • Stanford

  • Walker Little Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Reliable pass protector
  • Has quick-enough feet
  • Can bend at the knee
  • Sustains blocks
  • Quality length to keep rushers tied up
  • Solid hand placement
  • Intelligent; quick reaction to defensive schemes
  • Flashes some nastiness
  • Will throw down and punish defenders with violence
  • Battles defenders hard for four quarters
  • Can get into the chest and push defenders as a run blocker
  • Has some quickness to get to the second level
  • Will punish linebackers in the ground game
  • Agile in space
  • Anchors well against bull rushes
  • Upside to develop

  • Weaknesses:
  • Not an elite athlete
  • Balance issues
  • Loses his feet and ends up on the ground too often
  • Long layoff from playing football
  • Missed 2019 with a knee injury

  • Summary: Ever since Jim Harbaugh was named the head coach, Stanford has fielded a physical football team that runs a pro-style system and produces some quality players for the NFL. Head coach David Shaw maintained the tradition set by Harbaugh, and year after year, the Cardinal has a tough offensive line leading a power rushing attack.

    In that time, Stanford has produced some left tackles for the NFL including Jonathan Martin and Andrus Peat, but Little may have been the best prospect of that group had he played in 2019 and 2020. The Houston, Texas product was impressive as a freshman starter at left tackle for Stanford in 2017. He did an effective job in run blocking and helped Bryce Love to a huge season. Little was solid as a sophomore in 2018 and showed an improved ability to protect the passer doing a respectable job in keeping pressure off of quarterback K.J. Costello.

    Walker’s junior year ended before it started when he was injured in the fourth quarter of the 2019 season opener, which ended his season. He could have still been an early-rounder despite the knee injury, but he decided to return to the Cardinal for 2020. After the outbreak of COVID-19, Little decided to sit out his senior year and enter the 2021 NFL Draft.

    Little is tough for edge rushers to beat in pass protection. He has good length and strength, plus is able to bend at the knee. Little sets up well to take on rushers, and once he gets a hold of them, they are in trouble. His length and strength allows him to sustain blocks to the whistle, and he is very difficult for rushers to shed. His long arms and strong upper body also give him an edge in recoverability, so even when he is slightly out of position, he can compensate by getting enough of the rushers to give his quarterback time to throw. Generally, Little is very dependable at not allowing pressure. He has good hand placement and intelligently recognizes how defenses are attacking the edge. Little also flashes some nastiness as a pass blocker, commonly grabbing a rusher in the chest and throwing them to the ground with ferocity. Little is a physical presence and a real battler who makes it a long day for edge rushers to match up against.

    Little is also a plus run blocker for a left tackle. He is a fighter who has some nastiness to him. He definitely is not a finesse left tackle who shies away from getting violent with defenders. Little can get into the chest of defensive linemen and create a push on them at times. At other times, he uses his length to turn and manipulate defenders to keep them out of the play. On the edge and to the second level, Little shows some quickness to get into the defense, and when he gets a hold of linebackers, he will smash them into the turf or ride them around field. Little has the ability to play in a power man- or zone-blocking scheme.

    In the ground game, Little could stand to improve his ability to stay on his feet. He stumbles too easily and falls to a knee at the second level while trying to push a defender. When a lineman loses their feet, it just about takes them out of the play and also can create some pileups that lead to injuries for them or teammates.

    Little’s decision to sit out the 2020 season, even in the shortened format, really hurts him with NFL teams, as they have to go back to 2018 to see a true season of tape from Little. When Little starts competing in a NFL training camp next summer, it will be the first extensive footballaction he will have seen in almost three years. That long layoff and his history of injuries has NFL teams projecting him to the third day of the 2021 NFL Draft. Little could be an excellent value as a fourth- or fifth-round pick if he can stay healthy, shake off the rust, and return to his pre-injury form. He may need a redshirt season to get back into the groove of playing football again.

    Player Comparison: Taylor Decker. When Little was playing well in 2018, he looked like Decker at Ohio State. This is a very flawed comparison, however, because Decker played well to close out his college career and become a first-round pick. Little missed a season and then skipped a year, so he enters the league as a mystery; NFL teams don’t really know what they are going to get if they draft Little.


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