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2022 NFL Draft: Walker goes No. 1 to Jacksonville
Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker has been selected as the No. 1-overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars, which also had the first pick in last year’s draft; however, the former Bulldog will now be playing under first-year Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson.
Walker recently became an odds on favorite to be the top selection in the draft after his performance at the NFL Combine back in March. He distinguished himself from others as he ran a 4.51 40-yard dash time and posted a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump mark during workouts.
The 6-foot-5, 275-pound defender was a part of Georgia’s defense for the past three seasons.
Walker helped the Bulldogs earn their first national title in 41 years this past year. He was also a member of one of the nation’s top defensive units in 2021, which finished No. 2 overall in total defense.
Walker was a rotational player for Georgia that ended last season with 37 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss of 51 yards, 6.0 sacks, 32 quarterback pressures and two pass breakups.
Walker recently said that he and his teammates left a legacy on the program moving forward.
He added that it was important for them to get close to one another in order to succeed.
“I feel like we left something that can be carried on for a long time,” Walker said following the Bulldogs’ 2022 Pro Day in March. “Just being able to get to know each other’s ‘why’ and getting to know each other through football. I think that can help things go a long way, instead of just playing football beside each other all day. That actually helps you understand the person beside you and learn why he’s doing what he does.”
The Thomaston, Ga., native played in 36 games at Georgia. He totaled 65 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks four pass deflections and two fumble recoveries. Walker was a Freshman All-SEC Team selection and was the co-winner of Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2019.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart praised Walker back in October during the season.
“He's a freak of nature when it comes to athletic ability for that size,” Smart said on Monday, Oct. 25. “I don't know how many years it will be before I coach a guy who's that big, who can run like that and has really good stamina, with great toughness and effort. His stats may not be the best in the world, or they may not be what Azeez’s (Ojulari) were, but he's playing really well. He's playing really physical, a lot of snaps, and I'm really proud of what he's doing in terms of leadership for our team.”
Walker was a five-star prospect out Upson-Lee High (GA). He was the nation’s No. 22 overall prospect and the No. 2 defensive lineman, while he was the Peach State’s No. 2-rated prospect.
He will join former Bulldogs Tyson Campbell and Terry Godwin in Jacksonville.