The Jacksonville Jaguars have drafted Georgia DE Travon Walker with the No. 1 overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Walker’s stock skyrocketed after the NFL Scouting Combine and that carried him all the way to being the top pick in this year’s draft.
In 2021, Walker had 37 tackles and six sacks. That was also Walker’s first season as a full-time starter. He helped lead the Georgia Bulldogs to their first National Championship since 1980.
Walker’s size is his biggest strength. His 6-foot-5, 275-pound body gives him a ton of versatility on the defensive line. He’s also an effective run stopper as he’s good at shedding blocks and finishing tackles. It will be extremely important for Walker to improve as a pass rusher. He didn’t have that many sacks at Georgia and was much more effective against the run.
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How can Travon Walker impact the Jaguars in 2022?
Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke has a track record for taking high-ceiling pass rushers in the draft. Walker is considered to still be a little raw as a pass rusher, coming off just one full season as a starter in college. He should see the field plenty, getting rotated in on third downs and obvious pass rushing situations. Jacksonville’s defense recorded just 32 sacks last season, tying them for the fifth fewest in the league. They can obviously use the help.
The thing to watch with Walker in his rookie season is how he progresses over the course of the year. Ideally, he’ll be more than just a role player as the season goes along, and from there, a player who can grow into a cornerstone of an aggressive defense that makes life hard for opposing passers.