NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Georgia DL/EDGE Travon Walker

From now until the 2022 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling a defensive line prospect who starred on the best defense in the country this season but tends to go a little unnoticed to some of his teammates despite potentially being the first Bulldog off the board come April.

#44 Travon Walker, DL/EDGE, Georgia (Jr.) – 6050, 272 lbs.


Combine Invite 

Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Travon Walker 6050/272 10 3/4” 35 1/2” 84 1/4”
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.51 1.62 4.32 6.89
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
10.3 35.5 N/A


The Good

— Phenomenal length and size on a long, built frame
— Incredibly explosive and twitchy for an athlete of his size/position
— Possesses the open-field speed (4.51 40) to chase down ballcarriers in pursuit
— Has the long strides to eat ground when he opens up and runs on backside pursuit or as a pass rusher, displaying great closing speed on his target
— Has good snap off the ball with powerful, heavy hands to shock blockers back
— Syncs up his lower and upper half when making contact with blockers by punching through their midsection and following through with his hips
— Punch can uproot and knock the biggest blockers off their spot when defending the run or rushing the passer with power
— Long arms make it difficult for offensive linemen to get a hold of him before he strikes them first
— Wingspan aids in ability to knock down passes in coverage and at the LOS as well as increase his tackle radius
— Has the strength to stack and shed blockers with ease giving his long arms and quickness
— Talented defender that can squeeze through small holes on twists and stunts as well as when tasked as a gap penetrator
— Will uncoil his power into blockers as a pass rusher, walking them back into the lap of the QB to shed and make the play in the backfield
— Can sink his hips and play with great leverage against the run to hold the point of attack
— Versatile defender that has played 0-technique overtop the center to a 7-tech outside of the tackle on the edge
— Has played some off the ball as a standup LB and has effectively dropped into zone coverage as well as run with receivers across the field
— Played on special teams units as a starter, running down kicks as well as throwing blocks on kick returns

The Bad

— Explosive get off as a pass rusher can be more consistent given his athletic profile
— Likes to get upright at times once engaged or when attempting to rush the passer, thus loses his leverage
— Fluidity in space decreases when he stands upright
— Doesn’t have a go-to pass rush move as an edge rusher at this point in time
— Needs to develop better hand usage to knock down blockers’ arms as a pass rusher and prevent them from getting into his chest
— Will lose gap integrity at times when trying to counter inside, leaving outside contain open to QB scrambles
— Will need to be schemed up early in career to get production as he develops his pass rush repertoire
— Could stand to finish more plays as he will leave his feet and reach out to make tackles rather than finishing through ball carriers


— Junior prospect from Thomaston, GA
— Born December 18, 2000 (age 21)
— five-star prospect and the #2 DL prospect in his recruiting class while he played multiple positions on the defensive line for the Knights, as well as TE and RB
— Selected to represent the East in the 2019 All-American Bowl as well as compete at the Nike’s The Opening in 2018
— Multi-sport athlete that played for Upson-Lee HS basketball team that won 71 straight games and consecutive Class 4A titles
—Played in 12 of 14 games as a true freshman and finished with 15 total stops (nine solo), including 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss as well as eight QB pressures
— Saw action in nine games as a sophomore in 2020 and recorded 13 total tackles (6 solo), two TFLs, one sack, one forced fumble, and one INT
— Played in all 15 games as a junior in 2021 and had 37 total tackles (17 solo), 7.5 TFLs, six sacks, a fumble recovery and two PBUs while also leading the team with 36 hurries
— Sport Management major
— Freshman All-SEC Team in 2019

Tape Breakdown

Travon Walker from Georgia is one of those “unicorn” athletes that defy the laws of physics. This started back in high school where he was recruited as a DT/DE, but also played a fair amount of TE and RB on offense for Upson-Lee while also being a dangerous power forward for the dominant basketball team. He stayed in-state and committed to the Dawgs, seeing time right away as a true freshman in a rotational role among a talented DL group. Since coming in as a freshman, Walker has played all over the defensive front, lining up as a traditional edge rusher, as a base 3-tech/4i, as a nose tackle head-up on the center, and even as an off-ball linebacker that drops back into coverage.

Simply put, Walker’s freaky athleticism allowed him to be a moveable chess in the Dawgs vaunted defense. When you turn on the tape on Walker, you see a long, strong, and explosive defender that moves incredibly well given his 6’5, 272lb frame. I spoke with one scout at the NFL Combine a few weeks ago and he told me “I have never seen anyone move like that at that size.” You want proof? The Georgia Bulldogs thought so much of Walker and his athleticism that they put him on kickoff and kick coverage units to have him run down the field or seek and destroy gunners like we see on this block he throws against the Crimson Tide.


What about defense? Don’t worry, Walker is enough of an alien to make abnormal plays for a defensive lineman look routine. He was often asked due to the depth of the defensive line upfront to drop back into coverage both as a spy of the QB as well as to occupy zones over the middle of the field. Due to his ability to change directions and long wingspan to minimize passing lanes, Walker excelled in this role for what he was asked to do. One plays that showcases this ability well is this batted pass Walker gets a hand on that teammate #4 Nolan Smith picks off against the Florida Gators.


Given his long limbs and explosiveness, Walker can cover ground in a hurry when he opens up and runs. His backside pursuit of plays is great given his special teams background as he can tract down not only QBs in the pocket, but also ballcarriers down the field. Here is a great effort play made by Walker against Alabama where he sees the pass get thrown underneath to the receiver and immediately takes an angle to the ball while the rest of the defense looks on. Walker manages to chase the receiver down from behind and saves the TD while displaying great effort and movement skills that are rare for a defensive lineman.


As I mentioned earlier, Walker closes ground quickly not only in pursuit of ballcarriers down the field, but also the QB in the pocket. He benefits well from twists and stunts upfront where he can loop around or shoot a gap, using his burst and quickness to work around blocks like we see here against Auburn where he manages to go from the 0-tech head up on the center and loops all the way around the RT where he tracts down #10 Bo Nix in the pocket and brings him down for the sack.


Here’s another example of Walker’s pursuit as a pass rusher on a stunt against Clemson in the season opener where he lines up in-between the LG and C and attacks the left side B-gap on the snap, squeezing through the two blockers and wraps up #5 D.J. Uiagalelei for the sack.


When he lines up inside, Walker is difficult to neutralize for centers and guards given his length and athleticism. Blockers must fear his ability to win with quickness, but he also plays with heavy hands on his punch, having the strength and power to shock blockers backward as he collapses the pocket to put pressure on the passer. Watch this rep against Michigan and how Walker extends his arms to get the blocker off him as he continues to work his way into the backfield, coming up with the violent takedown of the QB from behind who is trying to escape.


Here’s another example from the same game of Walker’s violence and power in his punch, long-arming the puller as he shocks him back and splits the double pull with his hips down and disengages from the stab to entangle the back attempting to reach the LOS, almost neck-tying him as the rest of the defense comes in to clean up the play for the TFL.


Walker’s strength is no joke as he was able to hold his own against some of the best in the country both inside as well as out on the edge. Watch this rep against #73 Evan Neal where Walker initially is double teamed by Neal and the TE. He strikes both blockers with either hand, sitting his hips down and plays with leverage to hold the point of attack. Once he sees the back run to the hole, he chucks Neal to the side with one arm and works laterally down the LOS into the gap where he meets the ballcarrier and wraps him up for no gain on the play.


Walker’s physical gifts make him an intriguing prospect, and his effort and technique at defending the run are an example of his character and willingness to be coaching like he mentioned in interviews. However, he is still pretty raw when it comes to pass rushing, more specifically having a go-to pass rush move and being able to effectively use his hands to disengage blocks. This leads him to try and attempt counters inside which put him at risk of losing outside contain like we see here against the Crimson Tide where Walker tries to crash down but can’t get through at #9 Bryce Young escapes the pocket to the left and walks in for the score.


Walker does a great job holding the point of attack and not getting moved off his spot, but he needs to be more consistent as shedding blocks like I mentioned earlier to stay in good position to makes plays. There will be times like this rep against Neal where Walker is in good position, but he allows Neal to get inside his chest, delaying Walker’s ability to rip off the block quickly as the back runs to the outside. Walker panics due to being out of position and lunges out in attempt to make the play, just missing the ballcarrier as he falls to the turf. Being in better position to keep outside contain and finish tackles should be a focus moving forward.



After watching Walker play, I was a physical freak of nature where the traits didn’t really match up with the production. Part of that is the fact that Walker is still raw as a pass rusher and needs to continue to hone his craft to realize his potential. Another reason is the fact that Georgia was loaded with other studs along the defensive line and at LB, thus taking the pressure off Walker to have to be a consistent edge presence and allowed the defense to move him around like a chess piece that opposing offenses had a tough time game planning for.

While I had the name Julius Peppers pop in my head as a similar freaky athlete at a similar size that did a lot of similar things that Walker does, he was far better of a pass rusher coming out. Instead, I looked toward other raw defenders with position versatility that had high ceilings and a name that I fell on was Tampa Bay EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul. JPP too was an extremely raw yet gifted defender coming out of USF in 2010, having a nearly identical athletic profile to that of Walker (6’5, 270lb, 34 3/4” arms, 10 3/8” hands, 1.68 10-yd split).

He was selected 15th overall by the New York Giants and excelled as an edge rusher that could kick inside and take advantage of guards and centers. After a modest rookie season, JPP broke out with 16.5 sacks and established himself as a premier pass rusher in the league. Since then, he has signed with the Buccaneers where he plays DE and OLB, still generating a good pass rush while providing exceptional run defense for a dominant defensive front.

Personally, I see Walker having a similar career arc as he possesses all the physical tools you want to see in a defensive lineman and is still managing to be productive despite not having it figured out from a hand usage perspective. His power and strength at the point of attack allow him to hold up well inside as a base end or tackle, but he has the athleticism to line up on the edge with his hand in the dirt or in a two-point stance. Some may be concerned with the possibility of him not developing further but given his growth over the last two seasons at Georgia, I definitely see his best ball ahead of him.

Walker told me at the Combine that he spoke to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a formal interview. Now, I don’t expect Walker to be there at 20, but his lack of production and questions on scheme fit could cause him to slide a little much like JPP did. For Pittsburgh, Walker could play either as a 3-4 DE, adding a little weight to play inside should the team not be confident in Tuitt’s return this season, or potentially as an EDGE rusher to play with Watt and Highsmith outside, allowing Pittsburgh to mix and match their pass rushers in sub packages to really get after the QB. Regardless, Walker’s talent and upside should make him a highly sought-after commodity in this draft class.

Projection: Early Day One

Depot Draft Grade: 9.2 – Pro-Bowl Talent/ Day 1 Starter (Top 10)

Games Watched: vs Alabama (2021), vs Florida (2021), vs Clemson (2021), vs Michigan (2021)

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