Quay Walker NFL Draft Prospect Profile and Scouting Report

NFL Prospect Profile: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia 

Name:  Quay Walker

School: University of Georgia

Year: Senior

Position: Linebacker

Measurables: 6’4”, 241 lbs (Combine Measurements)

Stats:

 

General Info:

An elite recruit out of high school, Walker chose to stay in his home state of Georgia for college ball. As a four-star recruit (31st national, second overall OLB, and the sixth highest ranked Georgian per 247 spots composite rankings), he received offers from a huge number of schools, but the Bulldogs won the battle.

As a true freshman, Walker appeared in each of Georgia’s 14 games, primarily as a special teamer. He was named Georgia’s “Special Team’s Newcomer of the Year” by teammates at the end of the season, a hint of what was to come for Walker as both a player and a leader.

Walker won another award after the end of his sophomore year: “Defensive Most Improved Player.” In 13 games in 2019, he managed 23 tackles and 2.5 sacks as a part time player. Despite primarily being an off-ball linebacker, he also recorded a handful of pressures over the course of the year, showing flashes of blitzing ability.

The flashes of talent Walker had shown as a part-time player in 2018 and 2019 were realized at last during his junior year. Although he was yet to be a full-time starter (only two starts during the year), he was on the field frequently. Walker had 43 tackles during the season, the fourth highest mark among Bulldogs, with some of his best performances coming against Alabama and in their bowl game against Cincinnati.

In 2021, as a senior, Walker finally got a chance to be “the guy” at linebacker for Georgia. He started all 15 games and was a key part of the elite Bulldogs defense that won the National Championship. Walker had a career high 67 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, a sack-and-a-half, and a very impressive 25 pressures. Just for kicks, he added a few pass deflections as well, showing some coverage ability. Over the course of the year Walker was voted a team captain on three occasions, and once again he took his game to a new level against elite competition, with one of his best games coming in the Championship game against ‘Bama.

Though initially invited to the Senior Bowl, Walker elected not to participate, instead waiting for the Combine to take measurements and display his athleticism. Walker’s 40-time (4.52) was tied for fourth highest among linebackers, while he had acceptable vertical and broad jump times. He measured well, for an off-ball linebacker as well, with an above average height and an ideal weight.

Positional Skills:

Strengths

  • Consistent and excellent wrap-up tackler.

  • Really good at getting off blocks, with very quick and trained hands. Has a variety of block-shedding moves as well, with power and speed both in his repertoire.

  • Quick processing. Despite his lack of experience as a starter, he is often able to identify and react to plays/schemes/blocking very quickly. Walker will be able to do this even more consistently once he has more experience.

  • He was Georgia’s preferred coverage linebacker in 2021, over Nakobe Dean and Channing Tindall. Although statistically he did not produce in coverage, he displayed a strong understanding of zone coverages and did not give up many yards after catch.

  • Stood out as a leader on a defense full of NFL caliber players. Called out audibles pre-snap, plays hard, and responds to coaching instead of shutting down.

Weaknesses

  • The 40-time and the play speed to not match up—he doesn’t look as fast on film. Frankly, I’m not sure why some draft sites are lauding his athleticism. He’s not unathletic, but he’s a marginally above-average athlete for the position at best. His high RAS score is buoyed by the dash and his impressive size.

  • Despite his size, he is not a particularly strong linebacker, and it shows at times.

  • Poor change-of-direction abilities could be an issue in space in the NFL, an area where he thrived in college.

  • Not going to produce splash plays. Sacks, interceptions, explosive tackles for a loss just are not a part of Walker’s game.

  • Could put some weight on his frame. 6’4”, 240 is on the skinny side and is another issue that could be magnified in the NFL.

Fit with the Packers:

Walker has a very safe floor—at worst, he is probably a solid backup off-ball linebacker who can play some coverage snaps. At best, he can be a quality three-down starter. He is kind of a boring player, who can be reliable against the run and reliable against coverage but is unlikely to be a playmaker. Walker is a good leader/locker room presence and intelligent player who should be able to take over coms if needed, which is important for a linebacker. Most draft experts see him as a third-round pick, with an outside chance to slip into the second. I have also seen one or two experts suggest he could be the first linebacker taken, but I just do not see it.

When it comes to the Packers, I think the third round would be an appropriate spot to take Walker. He does meet their athletic measurables for the linebacker, as far as I can tell. As Jacob Morley pointed out on Twitter, Green Bay likes broad jumps when evaluating front seven players. Walker would be on the lower end of that spectrum, but his broad is slightly higher than that of Ty Summers, so he would fit in. Coupled with his special teams experience, I quite like Walker as a third round pick for Green Bay. I think he could be a rotational defender early in his career as he refines his game, while providing leadership and competence on kick/punt coverage.

NFL Categories: 
4 points

Comments (18)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
GTPack's picture

April 06, 2022 at 07:30 pm

If he can become a core special teams player and offer some situational substitutions to give starters a break, he would be worth a third down pick.

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GTPack's picture

April 06, 2022 at 07:30 pm

If he can become a core special teams player and offer some situational substitutions to give starters a break, he would be worth a third down pick.

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GTPack's picture

April 06, 2022 at 07:30 pm

If he can become a core special teams player and offer some situational substitutions to give starters a break, he would be worth a third down pick.

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GTPack's picture

April 06, 2022 at 07:30 pm

If he can become a core special teams player and offer some situational substitutions to give starters a break, he would be worth a third down pick.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 07, 2022 at 10:26 am

What did you write, again? :-)

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greengold's picture

April 06, 2022 at 10:28 pm

Not for me. I like Channing Tindall a ton, tho.

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LLCHESTY's picture

April 06, 2022 at 11:40 pm

Tindall can't take on OL blocks though. He's more of a hybrid. Walker had a much better 3-cone too, 6.89(89th percentile) to 7.25(29th percentile) and is 14lbs heavier. More snaps as a slot defender (90 to 25) points to him being better in coverage.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 07, 2022 at 10:43 am

We could do worse, but I believe there will many better ILBs at #59 or #92 or in the 4th who will also tackle well plus create more splash plays and add horsepower to STs.

Walker is a good player, but he was also surrounded by the best D players in college football last year and did not stand out. He would be a better tackler than Barnes but still be a two down backer.

I would prefer an ILB with the first round picks to get a starter alongside Campbell that can play all 3 downs like Chenal, Smith (PSU). (I expect Walker's teammate, Dean will be taken in the top half of the 1st.)

In the 4th a prospect like Troy Anderson is an intriguing prospect who could be a diamond in the rough. He would challenge Barnes for a starting job.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 07, 2022 at 06:00 am

It's really interesting trying to judge the quality of the players from the Georgia defense. All of them had fewer tackles, sacks, etc. because there are only so many to spread around, AND there were even LESS than normal because the defense got off the field so quickly. It's even possible that having superior teammates made some of the players look much BETTER than they are (did the great DL of Davis/Walker/Wyatt make lightweight LBs like Tindall and Dean look better than they are?) Did the pressure on QBs make Cine look better?
I think there is a good chance Quay Walker was "lost in the shuffle" on that defense, and he may end up being a better pro than Dean and Tindall (although I really like the idea of Dean next to Campbell on OUR defense)

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 07, 2022 at 11:24 am

Draft the entire 11 from that defense.

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murf7777's picture

April 07, 2022 at 06:43 am

He just didn’t make enough splash plays as an ILB. As Pack stated, maybe there just wasn’t enough plays for each player from Georgia to shine. I don’t mind taking a S or ILB, but they need to be someone who made splash plays and are very athletic. With Whitney retiring we have even a bigger need at Edge now, I would double dip there before taking Quay.

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LLCHESTY's picture

April 07, 2022 at 09:29 am

That might be because they trusted him more in coverage. He had 90 snaps as a slot defender compared to 25 for Tindall and 42 for Dean.

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murf7777's picture

April 08, 2022 at 07:05 am

Then I would’ve liked to see more PD and INT’s or as I call them splash plays.

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ricky's picture

April 07, 2022 at 08:34 am

Sounds like AJ Hawk. Steady, dependable, not flashy or likely to make big plays. Will be a sure tackler, but likely to make those tackles a few yards down field. He'll be adequate, rather than impactful. Third round or beyond, sure. Before that, get someone who can come in and make a difference early on.

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LLCHESTY's picture

April 07, 2022 at 09:40 am

Do you say that because he had 3 missed tackles in 52 solos and Dean had 10 in 54? I would definitely say he was steadier.

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LLCHESTY's picture

April 07, 2022 at 09:41 am

Double. Be cool if they fixed that.

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BAMABADGER's picture

April 09, 2022 at 02:00 am

So he was GA best LB in pass coverage yet no INTs and only one fumble recovery his entire career at UGA...... I'll pass.

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MaryAnderson's picture

April 10, 2022 at 03:03 pm

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