No. 2 Jaguars training camp storyline to watch – Travon Walker’s growth
In theory, NFL teams that hold the first overall pick in the draft will select the best collegiate prospect. However, it was a tough process for the Jags this year. They already had selected Trevor Lawrence, so they didn’t need a quarterback. But even if they did, this crop wasn’t a good one and only one signal-caller, Kenny Pickett, was selected in the first round.
The Jags applied the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson and later gave him a three-year contract, ensuring he wouldn’t go anywhere. That narrowed down their list of potential picks at No. 1 to Aidan Hutchinson and Travon Walker, the best rushers in the draft. Hutchinson was the more NFL-ready of the two. However, Walker possesses all the physical tools to turn into an elite edge defender, which led Jacksonville to choose him with the top pick.
The Jaguars took a massive gamble with Walker, as he didn’t have much experience rushing the passer coming out of college and was instead asked to play different roles in the Bulldogs’ defense. This could in turn make it difficult to make the switch to edge defender/outside linebacker. So far, he has gotten rave reviews from teammates and the coaching staff but he might struggle once it’s time to put the pads on.
Walker will most likely experience a learning curve at some point of the season and the Jaguars are well-aware that he’s a work in progress and will need time to find his footing in the pros. However, it could be a cause for concern if he underwhelms during training camp.