July 15, 2016
Leading up to training camp, as we did last year, we'll be comparing each of the Eagles' rookies to current NFL players. In case you missed the first seven Eagles draft pick comps, you can find them below:
• Carson Wentz, QB, 1st round
• Isaac Seumalo, C/OG, 3rd round
• Wendell Smallwood, RB, 5th round
• Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, 5th round
• Blake Countess, CB/S, 6th round
• Jalen Mills, CB, 7th round
• Alex McCalister, DE, 7th round
Today we'll close out the series by finding a comp for LB Joe Walker. On the Eagles' roster, Walker is going to have play well on special teams to secure his roster spot, although certainly, a lack of depth at linebacker will help his chances. Walker feels like a player who will find a role on the team as a reserve or sub-package linebacker who sticks around in the league longer than your typical seventh-round pick, albeit as a back of the roster type.
One player who he reminds me of is former Chargers and current Cowboys linebacker Andrew Gachkar, who like Walker, was a seventh-round pick. In San Diego, Gachkar was a quality special teams player and a competent backup at linebacker. Last offseason, the Cowboys signed Gachkar to a two-year deal worth $3.5 million. He may actually start for Dallas this season after Rolando McClain was suspended for 10 games. Walker's and Gachkar's measurables are very similar:
|Measurable||Joe Walker||Andrew Gachkar|
|40 yard dash||4.56||4.56|
|Vertical jump||37 1/2||34|
|20 yard shuttle||4.31||4.29|
If not for a good pro day performance, Walker may not have been drafted, but he impressed enough to be taken with the third-to-last pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. He is a solid tackler with good athleticism, although he lacks thump. I would project Walker to make the 53-man roster, and possibly even been active on game day as early as Week 1.
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