2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Travon Walker
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: The loaded Georgia defensive line led the Bulldogs to a National Championship with a season of suffocating performances where they dominated the point of attack. Walker was arguably the team's best defensive lineman from start to finish. While he did not have huge production at 37 tackles, two passes defended and six sacks, Walker provided a tremendous presence, and it was impossible to not see the disruption caused by No. 44. As a backup during his sophomore and freshman seasons, Walker totaled 28 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Walker is a versatile and capable pass rusher. He has surprising speed, athleticism, agility, and explosion for a thick-bodied defensive lineman. Walker shows explosiveness in his burst to close when he gets free. With his natural power, Walker can bull rush through offensive tackles or guards, rolling them back to the signal-caller. Walker also has quality vision, recognition, and an ability to adjust to quarterbacks.
While Walker won't do much dropping into coverage in the NFL, he did look good doing it when Georgia asked him to, including making a tremendous dive to tip a pass that led to a critical interception in the Bulldogs' win over Florida last season. Walker looks surprisingly fluid and natural in space for a thick-bodied defensive lineman.
As a run defender, Walker is very strong and physical at the point of attack. He uses his strength and length to take on blocks while being very reliable at holding his gap. There is no doubt that Walker has developed strength, as he is adept at shedding blocks to flow to the ball for stops or disruption. Walker gives superb effort in both phases and always is flowing to the ball. Immediately in the NFL, Walker will be a plus run defender as a defensive end.
Here are the thoughts of an area scout on Walker, "He is one of my favorites. He's completely untapped, and he can play anywhere on the defensive line in any scheme. He's my favorite of this defensive line class. He's already a very good player, relentless, and still has huge upside. Walker can drop 10 pounds and be Cam Jordan, or gain 15 pounds and play DeForest Buckner."
Teams feel Walker could add weight and be a full-time three-techinque defensive tackle. An interior pass rusher with Walker's speed and athleticism is a tough commodity to find in the NFL, so that makes him even more intriguing. Some team sources have said Walker's tremendous upside reminds them of the upside showed J.J. Watt coming out of Wisconsin. In college, Watt did not have a prolific season of production, but clearly had his best football ahead of him with a skill set to be special. Thus, that is very high praise of Walker.
Walker could be one of the first players taken in the 2022 NFL Draft. Multiple teams picking in the top 10 have him as a top candidate for their first-round pick.
Player Comparison: Cam Jordan/DeForest Buckner. As you can see from the scout's comments above, team sources are comparing Walker to Jordan and Bucker. If Walker gains weight, he could slide inside to be an every-down tackle like Buckner. Given his current body, however, Walker probably is more of a Jordan-style end. Jordan was picked in the back half of the 2011 NFL Draft, while Buckner was a top-10 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Walker could end up as a top-10 selection this year in the 2022 NFL Draft.
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