Do NOT draft Travon Walker
Paul Rochon: My preposterous also involves making a huge mistake at number two, what would be to me? Listen, the book is far from written on Brad Holmes. He hasn’t been here very long. We didn’t do a whole lot outlandish last year.
Nice fell to us he was the no-brainer pick, so of course, you’re going to take him and he played pretty safe in the draft. He didn’t do anything dumb. He didn’t do anything that you hated. I love the beefing up the trenches that he really stuck with last year and I wouldn’t mind if he kept doing the same thing this year. We talked about not falling in love with combine heroes, and not falling in love with traits.
The most preposterous thing I have heard in this entire lead-up to the draft the last few weeks is this absurd rise of Travon Walker. People legitimately saying he could go number one overall, which I’m going to go on record right now and say, it’s not happening. If the Jaguars were to pass on Aidan Hutchinson, which I think.
It is the clearcut number one player in this draft. But if you want to flip it over and draft one of the tackles, whichever one you like better, whether it’s Evan, Neil from Alabama or not, that’s also a justifiable pick at number one.
You’re going to shore up your left tackle or right tackle if they’re going to leave Cam Robinson at left tackle for the foreseeable future. Help Trevor Lawrence, get that young offense going. That makes sense. I can understand that. I can’t imagine a world where they pass up getting a tackle, getting Aidan Hutchinson, and drafting Travon Walker, who I would not touch near the top 10. You want to talk about a combine hero and talk about a guy with a complete lack of tape.
This is a guy with all of his athletic traits, which let’s be real, his athletic traits, while they’re special, if you look at this draft, it is full of freaky edge rushers, but look at the 10 yard split in the three-cone times of Aidan Hutchinson and then tell me he’s not a crazy high ceiling. I find it hilarious when people say, oh, Aidan Hutchinson’s a safe player.
He has this high floor. He doesn’t have the ceiling of these other edge prospects. Have you looked at any film, have you looked at the numbers? What are you basing the ceiling on? Don’t tell me he’s not athletic. If you take his RAS score, if you take his 10-yard split, his three-cone time, he’s as agile and has as much bend as anyone in the draft.
What are you going to knock him on; his arms aren’t freakishly long? It didn’t stop him from racking up 13 sacks his senior season in Michigan, which by the way, Travon Walker did not get double-digit sacks his entire career at Georgia. I don’t mean that he didn’t have a season with double-digit sacks. Nope, I mean he spent three years playing in Georgia, and if you combine all of his sacks, he didn’t get to double-digit sacks. Mind you, last season, he played on what is arguably the greatest defense in the history of college football. Stacked with first-round NFL talent, a guy that a lot of people fell in love with.
You got defensive tackle Jordan Davis, everyone says he didn’t have stats because he was eating up double and triple teams. There are only so many guys that get that argument because if Jordan Davis is eating up double and triple teams, you know who’s not? Travon Walker.
So if Travon Walker is this freaky athlete that’s going to be this elite edge rusher at the NFL level and he was playing next to a guy eating up all the attention then where are the numbers dude, where’s the film?
A.J Reilly: Didn’t they say though that Baalke, the GM in Jacksonville kind of falls in love with God-like Travon Walker? Maybe?
Paul Rochon: So this is something I’ve heard a lot. Baalke drafted Aldon Smith over J.J. Watt. Aldon Smith was a great player outside of his off-the-field issues and the issues in his head, but he wasn’t J.J. Watt. We can look back and at the time we thought J.J. Watt was a better prospect and in hindsight, wow, J.J. Watt was the much better pick.
You would think that he would learn from something like that because I honestly think J.J. Watt is a great NFL comp to Aidan Hutchinson. I think that’s a really good one. You think as a GM that’s been around the league a long time, he would learn from his mistakes and not fall for the flash. Listen, Aldon Smith, I thought was going to be a darn good NFL player. I think Travon Walker is such a wild card.
Yes, he could develop, but you’re not drafting in number one or two overall on, he could develop, I need to see something. At least with Kayvon Thibodeaux, he was the number one prospect for what feels like a couple of years, before he slid a little bit recently. He has elite traits, but he did put a lot of stuff on film, even though it wasn’t consistent.
Maybe he didn’t play with the motor that you thought or maybe you’re not sure if he’s a perfect fit for your team mentally, but at least I’ve seen a lot with him. Whereas with Travon Walker, I see a dude that played on an absolutely loaded team, has all the athletic talent in the world, and has no production to match.
And you want to draft this at number two? In the top half of the first round, I am apoplectic if we make this pick, there are so many better directions. I would rather take a lower athletic profile guy like George Karlaftis out of Purdue, who I think is going to be a good NFL player.
I just don’t get it. Honestly. I don’t get the hype. Personally, as many times as I make fun of GMs and say that they make these stupid mistakes, I will be surprised if Travon Walker goes in the top five. I will because I don’t think NFL GMs are that out of touch. I think this is more of a media and fan hype than reality.
Maybe I’m wrong and these guys are just like, you know what, I’m pushing my chips all in when I don’t need to and I’m going to make the riskiest pick imaginable. For me, if the Lions did that, it would be preposterous. I would be almost entirely on the Brad Holmes tenure because you can’t make mistakes like that with the treasure of the number two pick. You cannot do it and survive long as an NFL GM, you have to nail those picks. So to me, that is preposterous.
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