NAME: D’Andre Walker
POSITION: Edge Defender
JERSEY: No. 15
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 240 lbs
Run Defense – Plays with great leverage and arm extension to set a consistently firm edge against the run. Capable of squeezing down gapes and eliminating space for backs to run through. Anchor is stout. Effective working from a standup role and with his hand in the dirt. Processes play design quickly and maintains his fits. Effective in backside pursuit working down the line of scrimmage.
Pass Rush – A bit underdeveloped but foundational traits are present. Has the length, burst and flexibility needed to win but lacks the ability to consistently execute pass rush moves. Needs to be more sudden and deliberate with the timing and usage of his hand technique. Footwork doesn’t complement his pass rush plan with consistency. Counters are lacking. Has upside but needs development.
Burst – Often wobbly in his stance which robs him of first step explosion. Doesn’t consistently gain enough depth in his initial steps to generate the vertical push needed to position himself to win around the outside hip of the offensive tackle.
Effort – His motor always runs hot and he plays with urgency. Struggles to get off blocks but still battles throughout the rep to find the football and pursue. Assertive in his effort to play off and through contact.
Hand Technique – Effectively uses his hands in the run game to initiate first contact and plug blockers into gaps. Timing and execution to soften rush angles as a pass rusher is lacking. Gets worked up the arc with no counters when rushing the passer.
Flexibility – Has illustrated the ability to flatten and turn the corner. Plays with great leverage which helps minimize his surface area despite not being overly bendy. Can carry speed through his turns on account of ankle flexion.
Processing – Diagnoses the run game well and understands where the ball is designed to go based on the blocking scheme. Needs to develop more in his ability to read the offensive tackle’s pass set and how to best attack. Has been used some in coverage and he looks comfortable reaching his landmarks in zone. Highly effective executing stunts. Does well to get his hands in throwing lanes.
Play Strength – Does well to keep his pads low to maximize his power. Easily exchanges power with tight ends and fullbacks and holds his own against offensive tackles. Contact balance and power is excellent. Not a great speed to power converter.
Versatility – Has upside in a standup role or in a three-point stance. Sound run defender with the tools to become an effective pass rusher. Has looked capable in coverage.
BEST TRAIT – Run Defense
WORST TRAIT – Pass Rush Counters
RED FLAGS – None
A four-year contributor, Walker didn’t start until his final season at Georgia but displayed steady growth throughout his career. A versatile prospect, Walker has the upside to work as a 3-4 outside linebacker and play defensive end in even fronts. While he is most polished currently as a run defender, Walker has the tools to develop into a productive pass rusher. In order for him to reach his ceiling rushing the passer in the NFL, fixing his stance and developing his hand usage is critical. Likely a sub-package player initially, Walker has the traits to become a starter by year three with continued growth.
PROS: Build and length are exceptional. Muscle distribution looks like he was made in a factory. Physical demeanor. Flashes a long arm to stay loose from contact and keep inside rush options available. Reads tackle’s set and takes what is given. Not bendy, but can dip the shoulder and tilt the edge with good ankle flexibility.
Hustles and plays hard in pursuit. Production for a part-time player was eye-popping, especially considering how often Georgia had him going on and off the field. Was never able to establish much rhythm as a rusher, making 2018 an important year for his tape.
CONS: Ants in his pants pre-snap. Cannot get settled into his stance and is often unbalanced or unprepared for the snap. Get-off is consistently poor as a result. Needs to do a better job of settling into a 2-point stance and timing his jump off the ball. Too frequently no plan of attack as a rusher. Can get pushed up the arc with no attempt at a counter move.
Needs to work his hands when cornering, doesn’t make his angle better by knocking down his opponent’s hands. Overall athletic ability is in question, doesn’t show much explosiveness up the arc or in space. Plays a bit too high in the run game and can get walked out of his gap at times.
Hustled or walked into a lot of his production last year (13.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks). Would love to see him develop a go-to move that is consistently sustainable to win 1v1.