University of Georgia star pass rusher Travon Walker has emerged as one of the fastest-rising NFL draft prospects over the past year, propelling himself into the conversation for the first overall selection. Because of Walker's rare athleticism and production within a strong team defensive concept, he's in heavy demand.
That includes visits with every team that currently holds a top-five selection, according to league sources, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, New York Jets, and New York Giants, among others.
At 6-foot-5, 272 pounds, Walker ran the 40-yard dash in a twitch 4.51 seconds and had a 35-inch vertical leap and a 6.89 three-cone drill. He had a 10'3" broad jump.
The Georgia native had 6 sacks and led the Bulldogs with 36 quarterback hurries.
"Incredible upside with Walker," an NFL executive said. "He's an amazing athlete. Checks a ton of boxes for us. We love him."
A former 290-pound defensive tackle during his first two seasons at Georgia, Walker got down to 275 pounds and operated as a hybrid edge rusher and interior defensive lineman. He provides positional versatility, explosiveness, and the frame to add weight without sacrificing mobility.
Simply put, Walker can do it all. He has lined up across the line of scrimmage. He has played outside offensive tackles' shoulder, inside by the center, and even stood up and dropped back into pass coverage.
Walker has exceptional lateral quickness and change-of-direction skills. He's an impressive run-stopper who excels in pursuit. He has great arm length and a proven long-arm pass-rushing move. And his bull rush and speed to power are excellent, too.
In high school at Upson-Lee, Walker led the basketball team to 71 consecutive wins and back-to-back state championships.
An all-state selection in football, he also played running back and tight end. He was a blue-chip recruit ranked second overall in Georgia and third at his position nationally by most recruiting publications. He chose Georgia over competing scholarship offers from Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, and Notre Dame, preferring to remain close to family.
As a freshman, Walker had 2.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for losses, and 8 quarterback pressures. He was named a freshman All-SEC selection and the program's Defensive Newcomer of the Year.
As a sophomore, he had a forced fumble against Auburn. Last season, he finished with 37 tackles while playing a team-high 56% of the defensive line snaps. He was voted a team captain. For his career, Walker had 9.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 65 tackles in three collegiate seasons.
"He is a freak of nature when it comes to athletic ability for that size," Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said of Walker. "I do not know how many years it will be before I coach a guy who is that big, that can run like that, and has really good stamina with great toughness and effort. I am really proud of what he is doing in terms of leadership for our team."
Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and draft analyst and a contributor to Sports Talk 790.