Analyst Reveals Player That Would Represent ‘Massive Mistake’ for Lions

Travon Walker

Getty Travon Walker meeting with the media during the NFL combine.

The Detroit Lions have plenty of decisions to weigh when it comes to the 2022 NFL draft, and getting the right pick represents a solid balance of skill, luck and preparation.

Not every player will work out in a big way, and it’s a fact that some busts do happen in the draft given the amount of players and positions that come into the mix every year. When thinking about this season, there is one player that stands out in a big way that could end up as a future bust.

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According to some in the media, Georgia’s Travon Walker has that potential relative to where he could be selected in the draft. Specifically, Bleacher Report writer Maurice Moton thinks that Walker could be a player that is too risky to be selected within the top three of the draft. That’s just a position where folks have been suggesting the Lions nab Walker themselves in a few weeks.

As Moton explained, the Lions don’t have a major need on the edge given some of the players they already have on the roster. When coupled with Walker’s profile as an athletic boom or bust type player, it would make the situation far too risky for the Lions.

“While Detroit shouldn’t pass up on an upgrade at the position, Walker may need a year or two before his physical traits translate into pro production. As of right now, he’s not a clear-cut improvement over Harris or the Okwara brothers. On the other hand, Hutchinson and Thibodeaux would likely crack the starting lineup as rookies because of their pass-rushing production,” he wrote.

The Lions do need help along the defensive line, and while Walker is a player that has been tied to the team, that might not be for the best in the end. If he is more of a raw or project prospect as this piece seems to hint, that could mean that it may take time for the Lions to work Walker into the lineup.

Detroit might need players that can play an instant role for a needy defense, which could mean that a guy like Walker is too much of a risk for them. That’s just what this piece sees, so it will be interesting to see what Detroit’s decision is with him in the end.

Odds Still Favoring Walker to Become Detroit’s Top Pick

With consensus favorites for the second-overall pick seemingly changing by the day, Walker’s name surged to the forefront last month. The defensive end has risen to the top of some new odds that show him as a potential favorite for the team near the top of the draft.

According to Bet MGM post in late March, Walker sat at a +350 to be selected by the Lions. That was tied with Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton with the best odds to be picked in the spot.

Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson is a +400 and Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, who’s made his own surge in recent weeks, is a +500 from the site.

As of right now, Walker is still tied for the best MGM odds to be Detroit’s pick along with Hutchinson at a +250. Just off that pace is Thibodeaux, who is at a +260 at this point to be selected, clearly proving folks think the Lions will go with some sort of lineman.

After a phenomenal NFL combine, Walker’s rise has been meteoric. The defensive end is a gritty player who is high on athletic ability and potential. That potential could land him high on a list such as this when all is said and done, but could also represent the kind of risk he is for a team like Detroit.

Walker’s Stats & Highlights

In terms of Walker, there is no doubt he is beginning to rise during the draft process in plenty of ways. After he enjoyed an electric weekend on the field in Indianapolis, Walker could be sneaking up draft boards. His 4.5 40 yard-dash was simply an unheard of athletic feat for a man of his size. Walker also has the production to back those stats, with 61 tackles and 9.5 sacks in his college career:

Travon Walker highlightsNFL defensive end prospect Travon walker highlights2022-01-09T00:56:47Z

Walker over some other big time defensive prospects like Kayvon Thibodeaux or Aidan Hutchinson would be debated intensely, but after the combine performance, the Lions could feel good about the selection if they made it given his overall talent. It would represent a bit of a gamble, but it could be one that pays off handsomely for Detroit’s defense in time.

It will be interesting to see if the Lions do indeed go with a player high on potential like Walker. If it happens, there would be some definite risk for the team to remember.

READ NEXT: Heavy on Lions Reveals Post-Free Agency Mock Draft 3.0

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