2022 NFL Draft: Travon Walker comp will surely scare Detroit Lions fans

SideLion Report

As buzz builds regarding Travon Walker to the Detroit Lions with the second overall pick, a comp offered by a beat writer is a real buzzkill for fans.

The Detroit Lions have a lot of options with the second overall pick in the draft this month. Some might say too many, without a quarterback in this class that is an undeniable elite prospect. Among those options is Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker, who is certainly on their radar.

A knock on Walker is a lack of splashy production in college–9.5 sacks in 29 games. But he is lauded for his versatility, and plenty of teams picking in the top-10 overall have interest. As they shift toward using more four-man defensive fronts, the fit for Walker in Detroit looks a little stronger than it otherwise might have.

Travon Walker comp offered by beat writer a buzzkill for Lions fans

Justin Rogers of the Detroit News answered mailbag questions in a piece posted on Wednesday. One submitted question offered the now-departed Trey Flowers as a comp for Walker, which was easily and rightly dismissed. With Rogers surely putting the questions in that order, which is fine, the next question was interesting (as was the response).

Q: Where would Ziggy Ansah go in this draft vs. Walker, Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux? — @zachgollach

► A: Now here’s a comparison I can get behind. Walker reminds me a lot of Ansah from size, athleticism and production standpoints. Remember, Ansah had only 4.5 sacks during his college career, all coming in his final season.

Not that Lions’ fans need to be reminded, but Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah was a raw prospect and the fifth overall pick by Detroit out of BYU in the 2013 draft.

He was mostly fine over his first two seasons, with eight and 7.5 sacks respectively, before a breakout 14.5-sack campaign in 2015.  Then he fell to two sacks in 2016 (13 games), rebounded to 12 sacks in 2017, then fell back again to four sacks in an injury-plagued 2018 (seven games). He spent 2019 with the Seahawks, played two games for the 49ers in 2020 and was out of the league in 2021.

If Walker was drafted at No. 2 overall, pieces of Ansah’s resume in Detroit (two double-digit sack campaigns, four seasons with at least 7.5 sacks and one Pro Bowl selection over six seasons) would be the minimum expectation. If he is the pick there, Lions fans would automatically be hoping Walker’s skill set translates to more than what Ansah delivered–in particular, consistent production.

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