You’re seeing almost identical agility ratings between
You’re seeing almost identical agility ratings between Jan 06

You’re seeing almost identical agility ratings between

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The shift in thinking from Aidan Hutchinson to Walker began a couple of weeks ago, when “chatter” began that the Jags could be looking at the Georgia pass rusher. It’s only picked up steam since then. As recently as last week Baalke seemed to already be justifying picking Walker to the media, trying to advocate that Walker and Hutchinson were equally productive players in college.

“[They’re] used differently, totally different schemes, used differently within those schemes,” said Baalke. “Again, you’re looking at them, you’re looking at how they made their plays, how they were used, and then you have a vision for how you can use them. All of that plays a part, but traits are important, production is important. You weigh it all.”

To be clear: They absolutely were not equally productive players in college. There is literally no evidence of that being the case, and any argument to the contrary is just an effort to assuage concern. Hutchinson had 14.0 sacks last year, 16.5 tackles for a loss — he forced two fumbles, and batted down three passes at the line of scrimmage. Walker had 9.5 sacks ... in his career, 13.0 tackles for a loss ... in his career, three passes defended ... in his career, and forced one fumble, you guessed it ... in his career.

That’s not the point though. There are justifications for talking Walker over Hutchinson that don’t involve lying about their college careers. You don’t take Walker for what he did at Georgia, you take him for what you think he could become — and that’s where there is no comparison between the two top pass rushers in this draft.

Hutchinson hasn’t reached his ceiling, but he’s close to it. He’s a player innately similar to Joey Bosa, who had a 16.0 sack season his final year ay Ohio State, and has gone on to be a reliable defensive end who gets 8-12 sacks a year and is a staple of the Pro Bowl.

In Walker, you’re hoping he’s J.J. Watt — but taken even further. Watt was a decently productive pass rusher at Wisconsin, who finished his junior year with 7.0 sacks, but certainly didn’t blow anyone away to the point he was a must-pick. Taken 11th in 2011, two pass rushers were selected before Watt (Von Miller and Aldon Smith). Watt was an upside pick, who had tremendous athletic potential, and ended up realizing all of it, turning into a monster who recorded 20+ sacks ... twice. And when I say Walker could be even more than Watt, that’s ludicrous hype, but it’s deserved.
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06-Jan-2024 - 12:00 Start date
18-May-2024 - 12:00 End date
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