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Meet the Prospect: Travon Walker

Name: Travon Walker

Position: Defensive lineman

School: Georgia

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 272

40-yard dash: 4.51 seconds

Bench: Did not bench

Vertical: 35.5 inches

Broad: 123 inches

3-cone: 6.89 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.32 seconds

View photos of NFL prospect Travon Walker.

How he fits: After an eye-opening NFL Combine that saw Walker run the 40 in 4.51 seconds at 6-foot-5, 272 pounds, he put on another show at Georgia's pro day a few weeks later. Walker not only worked with his fellow defensive linemen, but he also took part in linebacker drills and made it look pretty easy.

The size, athletic traits and versatility should play well at the next level and allow him to be a versatile player in an NFL defense.

He's not a pure pass rusher like some of the other edge prospects in this draft – he only had six sacks playing on the stellar Georgia defense last year – but he's an above-average run defender and he has position versatility. His athletic traits might lead to more production at the pro level by adding to his pass rush repertoire.

The Lions could still be looking to add an edge defender in this draft, even with the re-signing of Charles Harris, and with Romeo Okwara set to return from an Achilles injury. Julian Okwara and Austin Bryant are young pass rushers the Lions view as having some big-time upside, but teams can never have too many good pass rushers.

Walker is one of the hot names leading up to the draft because of the athletic traits he's shown at the Combine and his pro day. Teams have no-doubt gone back to the film with him and wondered why the production didn't match the traits.

Walker played more than 200 defensive snaps for the first time in his career in 2021, and he ended the year with a 71.4 overall grade and a 65.8 pass-rushing grade from Pro Football Focus. His pass-rush win rate was average among college football's pass rushers this past season.

Key observations: Walker started in all 13 games at defensive tackle for the Bulldogs in 2021 and finished with 33 total tackles, second among interior linemen, with 6.0 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss, and a team-high 36 quarterback hurries. He had seven hurries against Alabama in the championship game.

Walker logged more playing time than any other defensive lineman at Georgia this past season (56 percent of defensive snaps).

He also has a basketball background, averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds his senior year in high school.

What they had to say about him: "I know I'm higher on Walker than most, but I'm okay with that – I'm betting on his rare traits. He has impressive movement skills for a 275-pounder, including an explosive first step to shoot through gaps, cross the face of blockers or chase down plays. He wasn't asked to be a consistent outside rusher in the Bulldogs' scheme, but that helped him develop into a strong run defender, disengaging and leveraging blocks.

"Walker is still developing his sequencing plan as a pass rusher, but he has freaky athletic traits for his size and offers the natural power and length to consistently win his matchups. He projects as a scheme-diverse end with the ceiling to be one of the best NFL defenders from this draft class." – Dane Brugler, The Athletic

How he stacks up: Brugler is pretty high on Walker, listing him at No. 6 on his Top 100 prospects ranking.

He comes in at No. 8 on Scouts Inc.'s ranking and No. 10 on Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest Big Board. He's No. 14 on Pro Football Focus' Big Board.

Walker comes in at No. 6 on Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50, and he's listed as the No. 5 pass rusher in the class behind Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan), Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon), Jermaine Johnson II (Florida State) and George Karlaftis (Purdue) by analyst Bucky Brooks.

What he had to say: "I just wanted to show my versatility and show that I really am an athlete," Walker told NFL Network following Georgia's pro day, via 247Sports. "They have seen me drop in coverage on film. This lets them see me a lot more - my athleticism, speed, and ability to drop in coverage.

"I play best on the edge, rushing the passer. That is my strong suit. That is what I have been doing my entire life."

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