By: Lucas Kochevar
When you look at the players UGA is putting out this year, all you can think is 'My god, these guys are unreal,' and they really are. The Bulldogs won the 2022 National Championship with their defense being the story all year long. They were dominant in virtually every game they played and there was an NFL prospect at nearly every position. Several of these guys are going to get drafted in the first round. The biggest question is who? The face of the defense was freak of nature Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean flies around on film as well, however, one player has improved his stock dractically and will almost certainly be a top ten pick in April. EDGE Travon Walker was likely going to be a first round pick, but his testing during combine and his pro day has rocketed him to near the top.
Walker played in all 13 games last season for UGA and had 33 total tackles and 6 sacks. Those numbers aren't out of this world but the context matters. Walker played ALL over the field and the Bulldogs are notorious for rotating players in and out. This is why the workouts are so important. As you can see with the numbers listed above, he was nearly excellent in all the drills. The screenshot above is simple to understand, essentially his scores are all averaged out and compared relatively to guys that are similar to Walker's build. You can compare Walker to other players and their scores and it shows how he stacks up to these other guys' scores. One player that compares well to Walker is star DE Myles Garrett, who went first overall to the Browns in 2017.
When I watch Walker on film what I see is the versatility. He can play in a number of different positions as long as he's rushing the passer. He would be perfect for a team that runs a 3-4 front where he mainly rushes the passer, but can drop into some coverage. Along with his athleticism, his technique is very pure as well. He is technically sound with his hands and doesn't need absurd power to bull rush guys and he doesn't need to outrun tackles to get around them. He has a great balance in abilities to win his match-ups. Personally, I would love for the Falcons to take him at eight, but I don't think he'll make it there. I think the Giants would be idiots to pass on him with either of their picks in the top ten. Wherever he does land, I expect him to become a strong pass rusher in no time.