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2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report: DeMarcus Walker, DE - Florida State

Even with their free agent additions, the Denver Broncos could use some help on their defensive line. Is versatile Florida State defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker a fit for Denver?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles struck gold when they were able to get DeMarcus Walker to flip his commitment status from Alabama and enroll at the university in the spring of 2013. One of the top recruits during that year, Walker's addition to the Seminoles proved to be integral to their success over the past four seasons. When it was all said and done, he solidified himself as one of the best defenders in school history.

One of the most important things I look for when evaluating prospects is their arc in school. Did they get better each and every season since their first day on campus? For Walker, that's absolutely the case. Used primarily as a reserve in 2013, Walker become a full-time starter for the Seminoles in 2014 and never looked back. In his final two years with the program, he amassed a whopping 25 sacks and 41.5 tackles for loss.

His penchant for terrorizing opposing quarterbacks earned him All-ACC honors in his final two seasons, as well as the title of the ACC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. Teams in search of upgrading their defensive line with a dynamic defender should have a significant interest in Walker, and I'm hopeful that the Broncos are one of the teams who consider him when the NFL Draft arrives in late April.

DeMarcus Walker

Defensive End, Senior Florida State

Height: 6'4" Weight: 280 lbs.

Bench Press: 18 reps | Arm Length: 33" | Hands: 10 1/2"

Film Room and Highlights

Hart's Scouting Report

Positives: Well-respected leader by his teammates and coaches and a team captain. Made a huge impact the past two seasons at Florida State, registering 25 sacks and cementing himself as one of college football's best pass rushers. Absolutely devastated Ole Miss in the 2016 season opener. Versatility and experience playing outside in a 3-4 defense and shifting inside in a 4-3 defense. Has the frame and base to add on more weight and become stronger. Quick initial burst off the snap. Sound tackler who uses proper follow through and wrap-up technique. Wide variety of pass rushing moves. Knack for batting down passes. Above-average run defender. Injuries aren't an issue and has been a durable player.

Negatives: Can be streaky and inconsistent. Might not have the length or desired athleticism to stick at defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. Only has average range as a defender. Can be overpowered at the point of attack by larger lineman. Far too often plays with a higher pad level. Despite a high level of snaps played with the Seminoles, his best fit might be as a rotational player in the NFL to keep him fresh as a pass rush specialist.

Overall: Late Day 2, Early Day 3 prospect. Walker's career at Florida State was one filled with accolades and glory. He was a pass rushing terror, but those sacks often came in streaks against less experienced offensive tackles. Some of his physical limitations might inhibit him from being a transcendent pro player, but he has the competitiveness and desire that could help him overcome the aforementioned.

Hart’s Pro Comparison: Greg Hardy

Does DeMarcus Walker make sense for the Broncos?

Defensive line was one of the biggest needs for the Broncos this offseason. In order to bolster their play in the trenches, they added Domata Peko and Zach Kerr in free agency. Derek Wolfe, Adam Gotsis, Kyle Peko, Jared Crick and Bobby Richardson are the rest of the players slated to compete for spots on the roster in 2017.

Richardson is a reclamation project and Crick has one year left on his contract, so adding a versatile player like Walker who can play end primarily, but kick inside to on passing downs to get after the quarterback wouldn't be a bad idea. I don't believe Walker will be as successful as a pass rusher in the NFL as he was in college, but his relentlessness and competitiveness are highly desired factors that will cause a position coach or scout to bang the table for him on Day 2 or early Day 3 of this year's draft.

His best fit might be a base end in a 4-3 scheme, but Denver's one-gap attacking 3-4 defense would allow him to do what he does best and accentuate his best qualities as a player. If he is still on the board when Denver's third round selections roll around, I would be very excited if he was selected with one of them.


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