The Seattle Seahawks have claimed pass rusher D’Andre Walker after he was released by the Tennessee Titans, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. It is not quite an even trade as the news comes after Jadeveon Clowney revealed he is signing with the Titans. The Seahawks are expected to make a corresponding move to create a roster spot for Walker.
Walker is listed as a linebacker on the official NFL transaction wire but is widely considered an edge rusher. The Titans selected Walker in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft with the No. 168 overall pick. Walker was a key part of Georgia’s defense prior to beginning his NFL career. The pass rusher notched 45 tackles, including 11 for a loss, to go with 7.5 sacks in his final season with the Bulldogs in 2018. During his senior season, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart praised Walker for his “effort and toughness.”
“D’Andre has been really consistent during games, playing with effort and toughness,” Smart said, per Bulldawg Illustrated. “He plays really hard. And I think the sacks turning into fumbles are critical because the most vulnerable position there is, is when you’re getting sacked. Just like we see with our guys, you don’t see them coming all the time. You have to keep your eyes downfield. If you’re looking at the rusher to protect the ball, then you’re probably not going to be a very good passer, and D’Andre is taking advantage of quarterbacks’ eyes downfield and being very disruptive and causing problems. We have to get more guys to produce like D’Andre has. He’s played really well so far.”
Walker Was Projected by Some Draft Analysts to be a Second-Round Pick
Prior to the draft, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler projected Walker to be a second-round pick. According to Music City Miracles, Walker sustained a sports hernia during Georgia’s SEC Championship matchup against Alabama setting back his evaluation process with NFL teams.
This caused the pass rusher to miss out on the Senior Bowl as well as several pre-draft workouts. Brugler labeled Walker as the best-available player heading into Day 3 of the 2019 draft.
“Although not quite as physically gifted as past Georgia “JACK” rushers like Leonard Floyd or Lorenzo Carter, Walker improved each season and produced at a higher clip,” Brugler explained. “He is still piecing together his timing and technique, but his effort and impact make him an easy player to like on film. Overall, Walker has a toned, flexible frame with the balanced athleticism and competitive makeup to drop, rush the passer or set the edge, projecting as a high upside edge rusher in a 3-4 scheme.”
Walker Spent the 2019 NFL Season on Injured Reserve
Walker has not played in an NFL game as he spent all of last season on Injured Reserve, per TennesseeTitans.com. The good news for the Seahawks is there is a chance they found a diamond in the rough as Walker became expendable with the addition of Clowney. Earlier this offseason, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel praised Walker’s attitude and conditioning.
“I loved his attitude,” Vrabel said, per TennesseeTitans.com. “He was excited to learn. I think we needed to get him healthy and get him right. From what I’ve seen at the end of the season when he was training and working with Frank on the side and the trainers, it looks like a player we’ll be able to work with there in April and see where he’s at.”
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