After being drafted in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft, hopes were high for DeMarcus Walker. While his rookie season was sub-par, the future is still bright for the former Florida State player…
Injuries to Shaq Barrett and Shane Ray forced 2017 second round pick, DeMarcus Walker, to move from defensive end to outside linebacker.
Walker was reportedly down to 240 pounds to play outside linebacker. Now, Walker is back up to 273 pounds, just a few pounds below his normal 280 pound playing weight.
Later in the season, Walker was moved back to defensive end. When he got his chance at defensive end, Walker struggled versus the run but still managed to flash as a pass rusher.
Walker’s struggles versus the run can be attributed to his low weight making him easier for interior offensive linemen to move.
While watching the coaches film from the week 17 game vs the Chiefs, I was keeping an eye on DeMarcus. Lining up at defensive end, he showed his true potential as an interior pass rusher. In this game, Walker recorded his first career sack, using an inside swim move before bringing Patrick Mahomes to the ground.
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Walker getting back up to his normal playing weight will help solve his issues against larger offensive linemen. Heading into camp, Walker will be battling for playing time at defensive end.
The Broncos need Walker to step up as Adam Gotsis’ legal troubles are still unresolved.
What to expect from Walker in 2018
While Walker’s added weight will help him versus the run, his impact will be made as a pass rusher. With Walker and Derek Wolfe pushing the pocket, the Broncos edge rushers will have more sack opportunities.
Overall, Walker becoming a consistent interior pass rusher would be a big boost to the Broncos defense in 2018.