Jaguars coach describes Travon Walker as “unicorn” athlete

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There aren’t many like him, at the least in response to Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell.

No, first-overall choice and Jaguars exterior linebacker Travon Walker is exclusive, and although he has many skills that can be utilized in Jacksonville’s protection, his major position this season is what ought to enable many to see his ceiling, unlocking the potential he confirmed as a university soccer participant at Georgia.

“Proper now his skillset is getting after the quarterback. We’re going to enable him to do this. The way in which that he does it, that probably may change,” Caldwell mentioned earlier this month when requested concerning the No. 1 total choose. “However proper now we try to get him snug and when he is on the market and it isn’t [too much thinking] … We simply need him to go on the market and play. As soon as he’s enjoying, we will regulate what we do with him.”

The Jaguars chosen Walker with the only function of offering the staff with one more versatile athlete at exterior linebacker, much like choosing Josh Allen at No. 7 total in 2019. Walker will this season what to do and the way to do it as a pass-rusher within the NFL, and the staff definitely feels strongly that he’ll dwell as much as the expectation.

To the staff, it isn’t essentially pigeon holing him, both. It’s a means to improve a place of want for the Jacksonville entrance seven, one which has had moments of brilliance, such was the case final season towards the Buffalo Payments and the Indianapolis Colts (Week 18) final yr. However they’ve additionally had loads of weak video games, as seen by the staff’s woeful sack whole – 32 – in 2021.

At Georgia, Walker got here away from his three years with the Bulldogs with simply 9.5 sacks, together with six this previous season. That led many to consider that the Jaguars “reached” to pick him, a participant that by no means confirmed the manufacturing that warranted being chosen first-overall.

The Jaguars themselves really feel, although, that Walker was by no means given the chance to get that manufacturing whereas at Georgia, as a substitute a sufferer of this system’s defensive scheme.

That is not simply what the staff thinks, although, it is also what Walker seems like on the gridiron. Although it is simply been underwear practices up thus far between rookie minicamp, organized staff actions and “obligatory” minicamp (made obligatory to solely rookie and a choose few veterans this yr), Walker has appeared the half, as an athlete.

At 6-foot-5, 270 kilos, Walker is among the largest people on the Jaguars’ roster. He posted historic numbers on the mix for a person his measurement, together with a 40-yard sprint time of 4.51 seconds and a broad bounce of 10-feet-3-inches and a three-cone time of 6.89 seconds. Merely put, he is distinctive and it is one thing that Caldwell sees in him.

“You concentrate on the scale – his peak, his weight, his pace – it is like a unicorn,” Caldwell mentioned. “He’s distinctive. He performs that means and also you see it on tape. You see the burst, you see the pace, you see the strikes he has. We’re enthusiastic about him and I believe he will probably be able to roll.”

Given Walker’s measurement and size, 35.5-inch arms and an 84.25-inch wingspan, Caldwell’s description of the rookie exterior linebacker most likely is not far off. The staff understands he can play different positions, however for them, it simply would not make sense to do this proper now.

“We’re going to attempt to mildew him and let him take off and go.”

Finally, the staff is utilizing this time to mildew the protection round its gamers, not the opposite means round, and Walker is definitely a centerpiece of all of that.

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