Demarcus Walker, EDGE
School: Florida State | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 280 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Tyrone Crawford
Demarcus Walker was undoubtedly once of the best pass rushers in the ACC this past year. He’s gifted physically and has the instincts to consistently find the ball and make a play. His combination of explosiveness, speed, hand use, and strength led to him being one of the most effective inside pass rushers in college football. This brings up the question of Walkers “natural” position in the NFL. He is but one of the growing trend of EDGE/DE players coming into the league at around ~280 pounds. Florida State sent Walker off the edge a lot and it became clear to me that his success came from rushing inside. No intended personal offense to Walker, but his EDGE play is some of the most inconsistent and quite frankly lackluster I have seen from a player regarded as a high pick. I think that his future NFL will be as a pass rushing 3-tech 4-3 DT.
- He’s too quick for interior lineman to consistent block him. Plays with quickness and low pad level. He made an art out of exploiting the A gap with a trademark swim move.
- Very impressive at the point of attack from the interior, can literally brush linemen aside and get pressure on the QB.
- Solid vision in the backfield if he gets good penetration he can snuff out a draw or r/o play in a hurry.
- When he makes contact he brings his opponent down, excellent tackler.
- Displeasing number of times seeing him not involved in the play.
- Occasionally will play too high and get locked up, needs to work on his hands and how to better disengage.
- Tweener body type. Not effective enough to play 3-4 OLB consistently IMO. I think he has to be a designated pass rushing 4-3 DT first and a pass rushing DE second.
Let’s see his work:
Not hearing enough buzz for FSU DL Demarcus Walker. Super quick interior pass rusher. Enough speed off edge & crazy motor. pic.twitter.com/2JHErF903M— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) January 18, 2017
Demarcus Walker with the rare double swim move sack. pic.twitter.com/jf13YYzz6h— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) January 18, 2017
Demarcus Walker beating 3 for a sack pic.twitter.com/9VVIJTX8VP— Jeff Hyde (@FilmDontLie) January 6, 2017
I've got Florida State DL DeMarcus Walker in the 2nd round. I think I like him more inside than outside, but he can play all over the DL.— Kevin Turner (@ktfuntweets) January 4, 2017
EDGE DeMarcus Walker (Fl St, 6'2", 273lbs) has a VERY good swim move though, and powerful hands to disengage blockers. A force when inside. pic.twitter.com/04t9sMtGAp— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 9, 2017
DeMarcus Walker (Fl St, 6'2", 273lbs) vs Louisville is some of the worst EDGE film you'll watch. Left him unblocked, ran at him all day. pic.twitter.com/lG0MrSQdqZ— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 9, 2017
EDGE DeMarcus Walker (Fl St, 6'2", 273lbs). Tried using him on a stunt; too slow to confuse the C/RG. Not getting there in the NFL, either. pic.twitter.com/j9S52OQeqT— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 9, 2017
EDGE DeMarcus Walker (Fl St, 6'2", 273lbs) dominated by ~235lbs Evan Engram. pic.twitter.com/duQ1phxx2G— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 11, 2017
DeMarcus Walker also blocked this extra point to secure the win vs. Miami this year: https://t.co/dzTEv6OpaS— Brian Carriveau (@BrianCarriveau) December 31, 2016
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
What a conundrum Demarcus Walker is, at least for the Redskins. A lot could change or remain the same depending on how the defensive coordinator search goes. I could see a fit for Walker if the Redskins switched to a 4-3 scheme as a pass rushing DT and I would be ecstatic to have a guy like that rush the QB on 3rd downs. I have a much harder time seeing him on the team if the Redskins remain with the 3-4 defense. A large part of that is just how unimpressive Walker was rushing from the edge. His burst, strength, and movement were pretty much neutralized when going up against offensive tackles. I think an issue Walker will have to overcome in the NFL is what to do next if his initial moves don’t work. He has to work on continuing to fight through blocks. Given his production from the interior I just can’t see a good fit otherwise that a scheme change for the Skins.
I read a few things comparing him to Johnathan Bullard who was drafted last year in the 3rd round after being projected to go as high as the 1st. A large part of that had to do with Bullard’s tweener body type. Walker has been invited to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. His Senior Bowl participation is up in the air as of this writing but I think Walker should be taking every opportunity to solidify his draft position and try and squash concerns over his position at the next level and effectiveness. Despite Demarcus Walker’s obvious talent I could see a small slide for him for those reasons.