First Step Quickness –Doesn't inspire with his get-off at the snap, lacks any notable ground gained when trying to coil out of a three point stance. Does well to build momentum through his first few steps but initial explosiveness isn't something that will bear fruit as an NFL speed rusher.
Hand Technique/Length – Hands carry quite a bit of pop and does well to shoot his fit early in the rep and clamp on. Has successfully implemented long arm tech but his hands have gotten high on him a few times, a minor coaching point to attend to going forward.
Pass Rush Counters –Unimaginative. Doesn't produce a lot of natural edge pressure when he's faced with pass sets. Poor sense of how to address a well framed block. Pressure has come from slide protections and on twists/stunts up front where the angles are naturally diminished.
Flexibility – Cornering skills don't inspire a lot of confidence in speed rush situations, struggles to produce a lot of lower body tilt to play with leverage underneath the pads of his tackles. Lateral hinges are more effective than ankle flexion and trying to run the edge.
Run Defending –Difficult to get movement on and even once you've put him on his heels he's pretty crafty to uncover. Hustle off the back side in unblocked situations has yielded some flash plays as well, pretty quick to process when he's reading run blocks in front of his face.
Competitive Toughness –Frustrating reps at times, will get complacent near the action and lazily pull at the ball carrier or not engage at all. That aside, is a stout body on the edge and an presence in the run game. Difficult to uproot and shows good effort in late disengages to get into the ball carrier.
Tackling –When he's decided he wants to plant you with his pads, he's got great pop in linear situations and enough of a wingspan to be present if you try running off of his hip. Will throw his body into a gap if working from in space and plug up added yardage well.
Lateral Mobility – Moves pretty well in space and was tasked with assignments working to the numbers. Is pretty fluid, helping to make up for only modest spring in his step. Transitional quickness is not going to win him foot races, however and he's going to need momentum to stay leveraged if tested outside.
Stand Up Ability –Shallow zones were well within his role, as were reps picking up the back out of the backfield and being tasked to turn and run in man to man. Functional athleticism appears there, making him an attractive option to play in an odd man front as an OLB.
Football IQ –Kind of an odd blend of skills: he's effective and technically polished against the run but he's not developed as a pass rusher in any capacity. Ceiling may be present for further development but his rush IQ and muscle memory is going to require a lot of coaching.
BEST TRAIT – Run Defending
WORST TRAIT – Pass Rush Counters
BEST FILM – Tennessee (2018)
WORST FILM – Alabama (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
D'Andre Walker projects as an early down EDGE defender in the NFL. Walker shows great anchor and punch in his hands to reset the LOS, but his ability to rush the passer will hinder his ability to stay on the field with regularity. Walker is ideally a player who gets subbed off the field in obvious passing situations in order to allow more explosiveness and variety off the edge. Walker could feasibly fit a "starting" role, just one with tempered snap %s.