Photo of Anthony Walker Jr.
Drafted By: Colts

Combine Results

Grade
5.53 ?
  • 4.65 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 23 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 30.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 116.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.23 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.34 SEC
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

You can never have enough linebackers in a 34 defense. Walker has some athletic limitations, but he's an assignment-centric fit inside, in Pagano's linebacker corp. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'1" Height
  • 30 3/8" Arm Length
  • 238LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/2" Hands

Overview

Middle linebackers usually aren't made part of a hype machine, but Northwestern got the word out on their defensive leader by promoting him as "The Franchise." The first-team All-Florida pick from Miami Central chose to go north to play ball, He redshirted in 2013, then started seven games in the middle of the following year (51 tackles, team-leading nine for loss, two INT-one for a score). Walker was a first-team All-Big Ten and third-team AP All-American in 2015, leading the team with 122 tackles (16.5 for loss). He wasn't as productive in his second-team All-Big Ten junior season (105 tackles, 10 for loss), but he decided to leave for the NFL regardless.

Analysis

Strengths

Carries NFL thickness throughout his frame. Adequate straight-line pursuit speed. Flashes burst gear to close out runners looking to get the corner. Smart player with excellent work ethic. Considered a great teammate and leader. Instinctive downhill runner, and productive. Always looking to play tackles near the line of scrimmage. Works around second-level blocks with limp inside shoulder and upper body turn, causing blockers to miss the target and fall forward. Able to adjust path to the ball in space. Instinctive with good peripheral vision. Outstanding field awareness. Urgent helper on wide receiver screens and hitches. Plays with balanced eyes in coverage, darting between his coverage area and the quarterback's eyes. Crowds target in his area, but willing to come off and hustle to a passing lane if he reads pass. Has 16 passes defensed over his three years.

Weaknesses

Has some stiffness in his movement. Has been too muscle-bound and tight at times during career. Got too big, too fast. Missed tackle total on the high side. Comes downhill with some rigidity in his feet that prevent quick, lateral shifts. Sluggish to redirect his weight to mirror shifty runners in the hole or in open field. Should continue to work on functional flexibility. Will need to meet lead blocks with better knee bend and more force. Take-on skills need work. Feet are ahead of his hands when taking on climbing linemen. Allows blockers into his frame rather than punching and maintaining distance. Struggles to play off blocks. Can be obliterated and erased from his gap by angle blocks.

Draft Projection

Round 7-PFA

Sources Tell Us

"He is playing way too heavy right now, and I don't think he's in the shape he needs to be in. But, hey, he's always productive and he plays in a physical conference, so that's a plus. He can run but he's not a great athlete. I think he'll be a much better player if he plays around 230." -- Director of scouting for AFC team

NFL Comparison

Kiko Alonso

Bottom Line

Has packed muscle onto his frame that looks good in the uniform but might be limiting his flexibility and athletic ability. A productive, downhill linebacker who misses too many tackles and struggles as a take-on player. He checks all the desired boxes for football and personal character and can be counted on to do what it takes to improve his game. He could become a decent starting linebacker within his first few years.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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