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PFF scouting report: Charles Walker, Edge, Oklahoma

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 01: Defensive lineman Charles Walker #97 of the Oklahoma Sooners jumps up to deflect a pass from quarterback Kenny Hill #7 of the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images)

Name: Charles Walker

School: Oklahoma

Position fit: 3-technique with potential to play some 5-technique or rush from any spot along the interior in subpackages

Stats to know: Four batted passes on only 87 pass-rush snaps in 2016.

What he does best:

  • Has positive run-defense grades for three-straight seasons.
  • Locates the ball well on running plays even when engaged with a blocker.
  • Good at keeping blockers away from his frame.
  • Can shed blockers and get after the ball.
  • Has shown he can play 5-technique defensive end or 3-technique defensive tackle.
  • Positive pass-rush grades for the last two seasons.
  • Uses his long arms to bat down passes when he can’t reach the quarterback.
  • Effective bull, long-arm stab, club-rip and club-swim pass-rush moves.
  • Seven sacks and 15 hurries in 2015 showed he offers some pass-rush ability.
  • Outstanding snap-to-snap production on his 686 snaps the last three years, particularly in the run game.

Biggest concern:

  • Leaves some plays on the table. Missed nine tackles on only 55 attempts over last three years.
  • Missed five games due to injury in 2014.
  • A lot of plays he makes come to him rather than him defeating his man.
  • Struggled against Ohio State’s run-blockers in 2016.
  • Missed multiple games in 2016 with a concussion.
  • Quit Oklahoma football program with two games left so he could prepare for the draft. Not necessarily a long-term negative, but NFL teams will spend the time to understand further.

Player comparison: Malcom Brown, New England Patriots

From a pure production standpoint, Brown has been excellent against the run while providing little as a pass-rusher in his two years with the Patriots. Walker may have a similar start, contributing in the run game early on with hopes of developing as a rusher

Bottom line: Walker had a very productive 2015 season for the Sooners but missed multiple games in 2016 with a concussion. Walker then left the football program in November so he could focus on the draft, a decision that will be investigated further by NFL executives. Although the NFL has transitioned away from a base defense league, Walker can play 5-technique defensive end in a three-man front or he can play 3-technique defensive tackle in a four-man front. Walker’s positional versatility helps his value but his history of missing games could push him down in the draft.

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