The Green Bay Packers drafted three players in the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft, so one would hope at least one of those guys ends up an immediate starter.
That’s definitely the case with Quay Walker, the Packers’ first pick of the draft at No. 22 overall. Per The Athletic, Walker will start whenever the Packers play the Minnesota Vikings on opening weekend.
“The Packers surprised many by selecting Walker, a linebacker from Georgia’s historic defense, in this spot. Walker has immediately slotted in with the starters and will start to begin the season. Walker didn’t play many snaps in Green Bay’s preseason opener, but the camp evaluations of Walker are positive. It’s challenging to evaluate linebackers in a camp environment, so we won’t get a full assessment of Walker for quite some time.”
Per Pro Football Focus, Walker lined up on the line for one snap, in the box for 11 snaps, and on the edge for one snap. His 12 total snaps included four in run defense, one snap as a pass rusher, and seven snaps in coverage. Walker didn’t record any applicable box stats during his time on the field.
A lot of Walker’s success has centered around the mental aspect of the game, so the thought of not attaining a proper evaluation for some time is true. However, the Packers have received plenty of samples for evaluation over the last few months and they have a front row seat when it comes to identifying whether or not Walker is grasping the mental side of things.
It’s easy -and fair- to assume that Walker wouldn’t be starting if he didn’t have the mental side of things down, so it’s clear the he does have it down.
Which is great news for the Packers, obviously. The defense is going to be a major component to whatever team success the franchise experiences in 2022, so Matt LaFleur and co. are going to need all cylinders hitting as soon as possible.
You can check out the The Athletic‘s full column, here.
Featured image via Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin