Name: DeMarcus Walker
School: Florida State
Position fit: 3-tech and base 4-3 defensive end
Stats to know: His total of 17 sacks was second-most in the country.
What he does best:
- Very active hands. Even when a tackle gets into his body he rarely stays engaged long.
- Thick base. Frame that could possibly add more weight and strength.
- Balance is a plus. Never gets completely washed out of a pass rush and can recover for pressures even after losing first punch.
- Impressive short area agility. Crosses face of offensive lineman regularly. Inside swim move is already absolutely deadly.
- Hands of a boxer at times. Vicious punch when he wants to deliver a blow.
- Not athletic enough at his height to survive on the edge.
- Doesn’t have much of a counter to the inside swim move. Rarely won with outside moves or bull rush.
- Seemed to tire at times and have some low energy plays.
- Little pop on first contact versus run. Almost always cedes ground instead of taking it.
- No bend around the corner. Even turning in space looks like a chore.
- Likely designated pass-rusher at next level.
Player comparison: Tom Johnson, Minnesota Vikings
Johnson has always been a guy you’re happy to have on your team, but know he’ll never be a starter. Walker could end up the same way as his body type doesn’t lend itself to playing the run in the NFL. They both possess a pass rushing ability that’s valuable on third down.
Bottom line: At the moment, Walker is a tweener. Too small to play full time inside and unathletic enough to play out on the edge. Over time he could bulk up into a full-time 3-tech, but playing the run may never be his strong suit. That said there is upside as an interior pass rusher and could step in and produce their right away.