2025 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Deone Walker

Deone Walker Closing In

  • Deone Walker, 6-6/348
  • Defensive Tackle
  • Kentucky

Deone Walker Prospect Preview

By Charlie Campbell

Career Recap:

Big, gap-eating nose tackles can be a dime dozen in college football, but a large nose tackle that can clog up space in the ground game and push the pocket in the pass rush is still a necessity to field a quality NFL defense. Pro teams that are looking for size and disruption on the defensive line will be interested in Walker given what he has done at Kentucky the past two seasons. In 2022 he had a strong debut with 40 tackles, one sack, and two passes batted. As a sophomore, Walker was even better and an impact player at the point of attack. He totaled 7.5 sacks with 12.5 tackles for a loss, 55 tackles, two passes batted, and eight quarterback hurries. He was one of the best defensive linemen in college football in 2023.


2024 Season Outlook::

Walker will see some good offensive line talent during the 2024 season. The best games to watch him will be taking on Georgia (Sep. 14), Tennessee (Nov. 2), and Texas (Nov. 23). All three of those teams have future NFL talent on their offensive lines.


Prospect Summary:

NFL teams like to draft rare players in the early rounds, as getting a rare talent can make their offense or defense much more difficult to match up against. Thus, plenty of teams should be very intrigued with drafting Walker next April. The 6-foot-6, 348-pound tackle has shocking speed and athleticism for such a monstrously large defensive lineman. Few defensive linemen in the NFL have a similar skill set of quickness and athletic ability in such a large frame.

Walker is a crazy athlete. He has shocking fluidity with loose hips and quick twitch movement ability. Walker is able to cut and dodge blockers to fire his gap and get into the backfield. With incredible agility, Walker is able to slide into position to get on the shade of the guard, and his shocking speed allows him to dart past them. Walker has the speed of a small interior rusher and has a serious burst to close. The speed also can be seen off the snap as Walker is regularly one of the first players off the ball. He fires out of his stance and has superb first-step quickness for a massive defender.

On top of excellent speed and athletic ability, Walker shows off an impressive set of pass-rushing moves. He uses a spin, rip, swim, bull, and speed rush while lining up against offensive tackles, guards, and centers. Walker is able to stand up over blockers or put his hand on the ground. Walker’s moves are more dangerous because he is adept at using his hands and feet simultaneously. Along with winning cleanly, Walker will give a second effort and can redirect to chase down scrambling quarterbacks. Walker has serious pass-rush ability for the NFL.

As a run defender, Walker can hold his ground at the point of attack. He does a nice job of standing up blockers and holding his gap. He is even more impressive when shedding blocks and flowing down the line to make tackles near the line of scrimmage. Walker is dangerous when getting upfield to disrupt runs behind the line of scrimmage. Walker is a solid run defender but also has some room for improvement.

Walker worked hard before the 2023 season to improve his conditioning and log more snaps. Walker and his NFL team will always have to stay on top of conditioning and availability. While Walker is massive, he is not overly powerful just tossing blockers around, and Walker might actually have room to get stronger for the NFL.

As a pro, Walker looks like a three-down starter who could play nose tackle or three-technique. Walker has special size, speed, athleticism, interior pass rush, and disruptive ability at the point of attack.


2025 NFL Draft Expectations:

Heading into the 2024 season, Walker looks like an early-round pick for the 2025 NFL Draft.


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