Georgia defensive end Travon Walker walked onto campus last season and made such an immediate impact that his ceiling appeared to be future NFL first-round conversations. While it those claims likely haven't come to fruition yet, Walker did enough during the 2020 season to make it possible that the third-year defensive end has a breakout campaign approaching around the corner.
One thing that has remained consistent when evaluating talent over the years is that intangibles win over everything. Walker has everything wanted when looking for an NFL body: a 6-5 frame that weighs in at around 300 pounds of lean muscle. However, what makes him so dangerous is the amount of sheer athleticism at that size.
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The second checkpoint to pass for a defensive end is bend. While he doesn't utilize it often, nor possesses elite levels of bend, Walker can capture the edge good enough to rush the passer at the next level. However, it's his long-arm technique that sets him apart from defensive ends in the past under head coach Kirby Smart.
Walker's arms are so long he simply drives his inside hand through the tackle's chest and pushes them back to collapse the pocket. While it seems simple, it proved effective against most teams he played against last season and was one of the main reasons he found the field.
The final trait that Walker displayed was his relentlessness in pursuit, or for lack of a better term, effort. Even when it looked as if the play was dead, Walker continued to fight through the whistle and deliver hits to the opposition. When playing at Georgia, one sure-fire way to get on the field for Smart is to play through the whistle. It is clear on tape that Walker has taken this to heart, as it is hard to find many on tape that play harder than No. 44.
That begs the question: Why wasn't Walker on the field more in 2020? He doesn't have a full pass-rushing arsenal just yet. His primary move, the long-arm, is devastating, but it is the only move he's fully comfortable with at this point. If Walker can work on a new secondary move this offseason, such as a ghost-technique or a spin move back to the inside, things would start to get scary next season.
Also, Walker was in a room with an abundance of skilled pass rushers. He never was able to develop a rhythm, but when he got enough snaps he demonstrated a learning curve that could keep him on the field in the future.
Simply put, Walker was very raw last season. Coming into the 2021 campaign, Georgia will likely utilize Walker more often, and when his moment comes the tape tells us that he will be ready.
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