When the Denver Broncos pulled the trigger on Demarcus Walker, selecting him with the 51st pick in the second round, many football analysts were confused. On the surface, Walker doesn't seem to fit Denver's 3-4 scheme.
Although Walker led the nation in sacks over the last two seasons, at the next level, many analysts believed that he projects as either a strong-side defensive end in a 4-3, or even a 3-tech tackle. None of that matters. Only Denver's opinion on the player carries any weight.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1774805-denver-broncos-2017-draft... The Broncos believe he can play the 5-tech in their attacking 3-4 scheme. They're hope is that he can rush the passer from the inside on passing downs, and help collapse the pocket for Denver's elite edge rushers.
“At Florida State, we played multiple defenses," Walker said on Saturday. "I played all across the board. No worry of that because I played in about every type of technique system I could, so there were no worries.”
Meanwhile, Walker will work with defensive line coach Bill Kollar on a number of technique issues. They'll need him to stop the run, which means he'll have to get stronger. Denver's strength and conditioning staff will hit the ground running with Walker.
The people hating this pick need to remember that it's no small thing to lead the Division I nation in sacks over a two-year period. Does that guarantee success at the next level? No.
But this kid has an arsenal of tools at his disposal when it comes to rushing the passer and anyone with that level of talent, even if they're not the best scheme fit per se, always has a place on an NFL squad.
Walker was prolific at Florida State, and yet, eight pass-rushers were taken off the board before he was. This slight is not something Walker is going to soon forget.
Walker was riding high with emotion went he hit "send" on that Tweet. With a little time for things to sink in, his tune was a little more subdued and humble when he was introduced in Denver on Saturday.
“I believe in my skills but from the phone call last night to right now, there’s been a constant smile on my face because I’m so happy to be here and be a part of this organization," Walker said
He is ecstatic that he landed where he did and he's ready to get to work. Walker enters a defensive line rotation lacking great depth. Through free agency, the Broncos secured their starting three — Derek Wolfe, Domata Peko and Zach Kerr — but behind them, there's not much to speak of.
Jared Crick is best served as a situational pass rusher. Adam Gotsis, last year's second-rounder, still has a long way to go in his development. And the Broncos have some other practice squad and undrafted free agent talent to fill in the gaps.
Walker has a great opportunity to see some real playing time as a rookie, but he knows he has to earn it on the practice field and in the meeting rooms first.
“That’s football. Competitiveness," Walker said. "They wouldn’t bring me in here if they didn’t think I would be able to compete. I’m so happy to be here. It’s a great defense. You guys know, the DBs, Wolfe, Von [Miller], [Shane] Ray, all those guys. It’s going to be a complete pleasure just to be around those guys and just pick their brains because I really want to learn. I love learning. I love football. Just to retain knowledge from there and just be able to just go out there and do it, it’s going to be a very special moment.”
The rookie saw snow for the first time in his life when he visited the Broncos on Saturday. He's from Jacksonville, FL, and played in the ACC. Not much snow in that neck of the woods.
The snow is just the beginning. As he acclimates to life in the NFL there will be many things he's never seen before. He'll have many "welcome to the NFL moments". As accomplished as he is, he knows he still has a lot to learn but he's embracing it.
"There’s always room for improvement," Walker said. "When I train, I don’t just train for one specific thing. I train for every single thing because you can never get satisfied.”
Walker is carrying a chip on his shoulder. Again, eight passer rushers — as he sees it — heard their names called on Draft Day before him. He plans on using that as additional motivation to prove his doubters wrong.
So, what type of player are the Broncos getting in DeMarcus Walker?
“I just love dominating," he said. "That’s one thing that I love to do is to dominate. Just taking the will out of a man in this game football.”
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.