Jaguars OLB Josh Allen thinks Travon Walker can break his sack record
The Jacksonville Jaguars expect big things from edge rusher Travon Walker, the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. But they’re also realistic and know that it might take him a while to make an impact. Having said that, teammate and fellow pass rusher Josh Allen thinks the former Bulldog could break his rookie sack record.
Allen recently touched on topics during a 1-on-1 sitdown with Jamal St. Cyr of News4JAX, including what he learned at Von Miller’s pass rush summit, an uplifting anecdote at a stopover, and teammate Travon Walker. The veteran pass rusher has nothing but good things to say about Walker, “for me, he’s like an uncle but he’s also my little brother“. Allen says the rookie is eager to learn and believes he’s capable of breaking his rookie sack record.
"Do I think? Yeah. I hope he does, he better. Travon is a double-digit sack. He’s a rookie and he has to adjust to the environment of the NFL. I feel like once he gets comfortable, you can’t get comfortable, but once he gets comfortable into this defense, and knows the are calls in and out and now he can just play and not think, I think Travon is going be a freak and I can’t wait to see him."
For context, Allen logged 10.5 sacks as a rookie back in 2019. He also had two forced fumbles and 11 tackles for a loss as part of the Jaguars’ defensive line rotation. This was noteworthy not only because he made the Pro Bowl but because he had more sacks than Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell.
The Jaguars must set realistic expectations for Travon Walker
Allen is a leader and a good teammate. There’s no way he was going to say that Walker won’t break his rookie sack record. He acknowledged that in spite of his talent, the first-year edge defender will go through an adjustment period. This is especially true for Walker, who played different roles on the Bulldogs’ defense and he doesn’t have much experience rushing the passer.
The Georgia native is currently making the transition to become a full-time pass rusher, and while he’s got the athleticism and tools to succeed, the Jaguars know it’s a work in progress and will have to adjust their expectations accordingly. Of course, they don’t want him to ride the bench and will want him to start from Day 1. Nevertheless, breaking Josh Allen’s sack record might not be feasible and something around six or seven might be more realistic.
Having said that, sacks aren’t the sole indicator of a defender’s success. Walker must get better as the season progress, and even if his impact doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, the Jaguars will be closely monitoring his development.
It’s too early to tell what kind of impact Walker will have in his rookie campaign but the Jaguars organization and Allen believe he’s capable of being a difference-maker in 2022.