Thomas Dimitroff wasn’t perfect. In fact, he wasn’t even close. (But, to be fair, it’s hard to run an NFL franchise’s front office while curating one of the world’s largest collections of worn and unworn bike shorts.) That said, he made some outstanding picks as the Falcons’ GM. Mykal Walker was one such pick.
Falcons rookie linebacker Mykal Walker made the most of his opportunities in 2020, thriving in coverage and navigating a steep learning curve quickly. He was recently named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Rookie Team.
And this what PFF had to say about him:
Walker is one of the players who shined in a more limited role. Across 387 defensive snaps this season, he earned a 74.0 overall grade that included a 90.7 grade in coverage. Walker allowed just 74 passing yards into his coverage on 152 coverage snaps all season. He may not have the same stats as several of the other rookie linebackers across the league, but his play warrants some recognition here.
For context, Isaiah Simmons (selected 8th overall) was the other rookie linebacker selected. Yes, that Isaiah Simmons. Remember, Walker was the 119th pick in the draft and the 19th linebacker selected. No one is saying that Walker doesn’t have room to grow and didn’t have mental flubs here and there in 2020, but the kid has potential. He didn’t play like a 4th rounder.
Going forward, if there’s one thing the Falcons probably don’t need to worry about, it’s their linebackers. Walker, Deion Jones, and Foye Oluokun are a formidable trio and should do some damage next year.
Your thoughts about Walker’s rookie campaign, Falcoholics?