Florida State defensive end Demarcus Walker made the decision to return to Florida State for his senior year on Friday afternoon. Walker was considering leaving for the NFL Draft after leading the Seminoles in tackles for loss (15.5), sacks (10.5), and forced fumbles (4). Walker applied for a draft grade, and, even though we do not know exactly what he received back, we can infer that it was not a first or second round grade by his decision.
Walker made a major jump from his sophomore year to his junior year, and a lot of that can be laid at the feet of defensive ends coach Brad Lawing who replaced Sal Sunseri during the off season last year. Lawing and Walker immediately connected thanks to the work ethic that Walker showed. Now Walker gets one more year with Lawing to make himself a better defensive end.
This is also a defense end heavy draft class. Of the Top-75 players on Bleacher Report draft expert Matt Miller's draft board, 15 are defensive ends or edge rushers. Compare that with the 2015 NFL Draft where 11 defensive ends were taken in the first 75 picks or the 2014 NFL Draft where only 6 defensive ends were taken in the first 75. Walker will have a chance to improve his draft stock even more with a solid performance in 2016.
On the other hand, Florida State gets one of the leaders on the defense back for his senior year as well as all of his production. The Seminoles aren't exactly deep at the position either. They needed him to come back and play with a very talented, but young defensive line. The 2016 Florida State team has a chance to make a run at the National Championship, and Walker coming back only increases that chance.
In the end it may not have been the result that Walker wanted, but this is the best case scenario for both him and Florida State.