Draft Recap – 7th Round: 251st Overall Joe Walker

Chip Kelly would be proud.  The Eagles ended their 2016 draft with the selection of LB Joe Walker from Oregon.  At first glance the Eagles are set at LB with their projected starters.  Depth is a concern of mine.  What happens when one of these guys goes down?  Expect at some point Mychal Kendricks to miss a game or 2.  He has had struggles staying healthy for all 16 games.  Walker could potentially provide some depth and will help on special teams, if he makes the team.  Honestly I view his prospects of making the team slim at best.  If I was a potential 7th round pick I would prefer to go un-drafted.  You could pick and choose your spots based on potential roster numbers.

Here are Walker’s strength and weaknesses from NFL.com -STRENGTHS Surprised some NFL scouts with solid workout at his pro day. Adequate play speed on tape. Uses hands well to punch and shift around blockers to stay clean. Square scraper with good lateral agility and quickness to flow to outside with run play. Plays under control. Productive tackler who rarely takes shortcuts and plays his role. Gets good depth in his drops has some cover ability in space.

WEAKNESSES Undersized for the middle. Needs more play strength. Will struggle to take on blocks and maintain gap leverage in pros. Has issues getting over top of seal blocks. Lack of twitch limits reactive quickness against shifty runners. Doesn’t fired downhill with bad intentions often enough.

Joe Walker wasn’t on anyones radar.  He preformed very well at the combine and really helped himself out.  After running 4.56 40 yard dash teams did some more homework on him.

Sources: NFL.com, philadelphiaeagles.com (Picture)

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