There are hundreds of stories being told during the planning and anticipation of the 2017 NFL Draft. Today we will be looking at a scouting report for senior edge defender DeMarcus Walker, Florida State Seminoles.
DE/OLB-DeMarcus Walker, Florida State 6’4” 280 lbs.
The senior defender has experienced a very fruitful college career with 107 solo tackles, 72 assists, 41.5 tackles for loss, 27 sacks, one interception, eight pass deflections, two fumble recoveries, and seven forced fumbles. His size and build make him a very interesting defender in your rookie drafts. Because I’m a high school football coach and educator by trade, let’s break down what I saw in the five games I reviewed of the senior playmaker: 2016 contests versus Michigan, Ole Miss, Florida, Clemson, and Louisville. Most of these game videos are available via draftbreakdown.com. These are my thoughts:
Cons: At his size, Walker is a little too big for an outside linebacker in a 3-4, but he isn’t big enough to anchor the line for any extended period against much bigger offensive tackles in the NFL. The defender can take some bad angles, especially chasing down backs in the run game. He gets overly aggressive and can get washed out by blockers anticipating his angles. The former Seminole plays hot, hot, hot and then cools down quickly. It has something to do with his conditioning (tires out), but he continued to play over 90% of Florida State’s defensive snaps a game. This edge rusher is not very bendable, appearing tightly wound and perhaps too muscle-bound for his position. He does get caught up in many hand to hand battles, especially when the deeper into the game it gets. It’s also concerning that Walker only benched at the NFL Combine (18 reps) and is waiting on his pro day on March 28th to do the rest of his drills. Is there something the NFL and the draft community doesn’t know about him?
Pros: The rusher gets a great first step off the line of scrimmage. He has an impressive stance that coils him up like a snake striking hand first while knocking most blockers on their heels. Walker is versatile enough to line up in all four defensive linemen spots and uses two, three, and four point stances to get the job done. The former Seminole competes well against double teams holding his own (anchoring) and shows relentlessness as a pass rusher. The defender usually uses a swim move or swats blockers out of his way; he will need to add more pass rushing skills to his repertoire at the next level if he wants to be more effective getting to the signal caller. Walker stunts well inside and always gets his arms up to disrupt the passing lane (remember his eight pass deflections). His tackling is quite good for a man his size as he inflicts a lot of pain bringing ball carriers to the ground violently and can bring most ball carriers down in the open field.
Overall impressions: Walker is impressive to watch and at first glance looks like an all-star. The truth is that he is a man without a natural NFL position. The former Seminole is better against the pass than the run, so the defender might get more looks on third downs and obvious pass rushing situations versus an active three down role. That is why I only have him ranked as my eighth best rookie defensive linemen.
Thanks for reading. I will continue to discuss my scouting reports with you throughout the next month or so, please keep checking the site for more of my content. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.