Defensive end DeMarcus Walker bills himself as a "Living Legend'' - with the T-shirts and the hype videos to prove it. Soon he will get a chance to prove it on the field with the Houston Texans.
Walker is a former second-round draft pick (in the 2017 NFL Draft) from Florida State who in his NFL career has 10.5 career sacks, 51 tackles and 17 quarterback hits. On limited snaps over the course of the last two seasons with the Denver Broncos, he totaled 8.5 of those sacks, and he had 4.5 of those last year.
The 6-4, 280-pounder, who is just 26, joins a new collection of defensive players in Houston, some of whom, like Shaq Lawson, come to town with big reputations and potential never quite realized in the NFL. It can be argued that in Denver, they tried to convert him from a down lineman to a linebacker, and only recently, by returning him to his more natural defensive end spot did he flash more positively.
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The Texans defensive line, once of course keyed by J.J. Watt (who is now a free-agent signee of the Arizona Cardinals) will feature a revamped look under coach David Culley and coordinator Lovie Smith, with Maliek Collins, Jaleel Johnson, Derek Rivers and Vincent Taylor among the newcomers.
There really are not "living legends,'' any of them, at the NFL level. But they are, DeMarcus Walker, looking for a reboot to their careers and their reputations. And in that regard, they are coming to the right place, as the Houston Texans, as an organization, are doing the exact same thing.