Walker had the highlight of the day Tuesday where he intercepted a pass from Matt Schaub and did whatever he needed to do to keep the ball locked in.
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Falcons Add More Fire to Defense
Atlanta really needed to fill De’Vondre Campbell’s void and they did that by adding Walker. The two aren’t far off of each other when it comes to their play.
Walker first began his collegiate career at Azusa Pacific. He was an all-conference performer in his second year posting 102 tackles, 11.5 for loss, and three sacks.
The Vacaville, California, native transferred to Fresno State in 2017 where he redshirted. It didn’t take long to step up as a Bulldog. When he did, Walker tallied 87 tackles, a team-high with 14 resulting in losses, 4.5 sacks, an interception, six pass breakups, two blocked kicks, and two forced fumbles in 14 starts.
Last season, Walker was a first-team all-conference again after recording 96 stops, a team-high nine for loss, 2.5 sacks, and four pass breakups in 12 starts.
Walker Has the Versatility Falcons Need
Football appears to be headed in a similar direction as the NBA in the sense that teams are learning to put the ball in the hands of their best players even though the player doesn’t fit the standard prototype of what the position normally is. There are athletic running backs out there who run routes like wide receivers and linebackers who can run just as fast as cornerbacks.
The Falcons were looking for versatility players heading into the draft and they found that in almost every pick.
In Walker’s case, he can be can play at both middle linebacker or strong-side linebacker. Walker said he’s not sure where the Falcons will use him, but he is confident in playing anywhere they need him to.
Dan Quinn said earlier this offseason that he believes the next in line from Campbell, Foye Olukon, will step up this season but Walker should be an immediate starter with little competition.
What the Expert Says
Here’s what Bleacher Report’s NFL analyst Matt Miller had to say on Walker:
Walker may be one of the most difficult evaluations in this linebacker class. He’s routinely productive from a statistical standpoint and he has a natural feel for the position. His athletic testing numbers were solid, but his play on the field doesn’t show an above-average athlete. He looks labored when he opens to run and never seems to hit his stride. Identifying whether it’s a mobility, ability or effort issue will be critical in determining whether he succeeds in the NFL.
Standing out amongst the veterans in camp is hard to do but Walker is doing it.