Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Georgia’s Travon Walker with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, a 6-foot-5, 272-pound defensive end that was one of the best players on one of the best defenses in college football history. Walker is also a versatile player who can play different roles on defense, but the Jaguars have a good idea of where he will be lining up during his rookie season. 

“I think his best position is outside linebacker because of his length, his athletic ability going against tackles,” defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell said, via The Florida Times-Union. “That is a premium position in this defense. He can play other positions, but his home for us is outside linebacker, where we see him being a force. We are going to try to mold him and let him take off and go.” 

The outside linebacker or pass-rusher position in Jacksonville’s 3-4 defense is probably where everyone would have guessed Walker would start off his Jaguars career at, but he could also move inside on certain downs to give opposing offensive fronts different looks. 

“You think about the size — his height, his weight, his speed — it’s like a unicorn,” Caldwell said. “He is unique. He plays that way and you see it on tape. You see the burst, you see the speed, you see the moves he has. We are excited about him, and I think he will be ready to roll.”

During Georgia’s 2021 National Championship campaign, Walker led the Bulldogs with 36 QB hurries, and was tied for second on the team with six sacks. He played 56% of total snaps last season, which was the most of any Georgia defensive lineman. 

Walker told CBS Sports in April he’s the most comfortable playing defensive end, running 5-technique and 6-technique. You could make the argument Walker is better suited to work as a 4-3 defensive end much like Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns, but Walker is versatile enough to be that starting 3-4 pass-rusher as well. 

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