In most NFL drafts, there’s a bit more certainty in how the top few picks will shake out. Oftentimes, it’s commonplace for the draft to start with the No. 2 pick because there’s a consensus on the top player available for the team drafting at No. 1.
This isn’t one of those drafts.
For the Detroit Lions, having the second overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft comes with a lot of uncertainty. Not only are the Lions unsure of which prospect won’t be available after Jacksonville makes their pick, but of the players remaining at the top of the draft, each one comes with a host of question marks.
Today’s Question of the Day is…
Which prospect are you not on board with Detroit drafting at No. 2?
Again, many of the prospects available at the top of this draft—especially EDGE defenders, a position the Lions are certainly in the market for at No. 2—haven’t been able to distinguish themselves from the rest of the group during the pre-draft process. For instance, questions about Aidan Hutchinson’s ceiling seem to be an impediment from him being the surefire, No. 1 overall pick. Concerns over Kayvon Thibodeaux’s effort on a play-by-play basis—and people openly wondering about his level of commitment to the game of football versus his other interests—have been brought to the forefront of any discussion of him being a top-5 pick.
For myself, the prospect I’m most unsure of at the top of this class is Georgia’s Travon Walker. Athletically, he checks off every box. When it comes to versatility, again, Walker has proven he might be the most versatile defensive lineman in the entire draft. What ultimately concerns me the most about Walker is his lack of production at Georgia. Some of that is a product of the scheme he was in, yes, but there’s definitely a correlation between the kind of pressure a player can generate at the college level and how that translates to their ability at the NFL level.
This is, in my view, quite concerning for Travon Walker — who had just an 8% pressure rate in college.
Here’s where he, Hutchinson, Thibodeaux and Bonitto (!) stand on the x axis of this chart. pic.twitter.com/NVrN70TJhe
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) April 7, 2022
Now, that’s not a condemnation of Walker as an NFL prospect. In fact, as mentioned in our discussion with The Athletic’s Diante Lee on First Byte earlier this week, Walker could very well be the best run defender in this class at the EDGE position. He could be a guy who kicks inside on third down to take advantage of centers and guards as a pass rusher who wins with his power and bull rush. But at the end of the day, pass rush is king, and getting a player who Detroit can count on to be a consistent threat off the edge is going to make everyone else’s job on defense that much easier. With how raw Walker is an edge rusher, it’s a bigger projection to see him putting it all together and being successful at the NFL level.