For his five-year career with the Panthers — he redshirted his freshman season and didn't see much action in his sophomore campaign — he finished with 154 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, and 15.5 sacks.
Eastern Illinois photo
In essentially three seasons, he was very productive and showed the kind of ability to penetrate the line of scrimmage and get to the ball carrier or quarterback that the Colts look for at the position.
However, he was not invited to the Combine and did not post any official workout numbers at his Pro Day on March 13 or at the Illinois Pro Day on March 18. This is a very likely reason that, based on his college stats and what they saw on film, the Colts brought him in for a private lookout.
For someone with his natural skills, seeing him in position drills and clocking him on the stopwatch are critical in order to find out if he has what it takes athletically to compete at the highest level.
Obviously, the competition he faced at the Division I FCS level is a red flag when it comes to evaluation, as is the fact that he is undersized — for most teams — at 6-feet-4 and 269 pounds. He's actually a little on the big side to play end for Indianapolis, so his height and weight will not be an issue.
But, the Colts do not have an issue with what division a player suited up against in college, as evidenced by the fact that Robert Mathis and Curtis Johnson did not play Division I FBS football.
He is currently ranked 24th at the defensive end position according to the Scout.com rankings and 292nd overall. That's at defensive end, though, and at least two teams that deploy the 3-4 as their base defense — the Chargers and Packers — have looked at him as an outside linebacker in that scheme and not an end in the 4-3.
If it were 2002, not 2009, the fact that he is labeled as a "tweener" prospect would have a negative impact on his draft status, but, since it is 2009 and a number of teams use the 3-4 as their base, the fact that he can fit into two different schemes now works to his advantage.
He may be the 24th-ranked end for the 3-4 or 4-3 defense, but he could be ranked considerably higher on the boards of some teams as a 3-4 linebacker.
At the end of the day, the fact that the Colts are currently loaded at the end position, with two 2008 Pro Bowlers in Mathis and Dwight Freeney, as well as strong, young prospects in Johnson and Howard, means they probably won't address the position in this year's draft, especially with so many other glaring needs. Add in the fact that Raheem Brock and Keyunta Dawson can also play end, and it doesn't look promising for Walters to hear his name called by the Colts during the 2009 draft.
But, if he does go undrafted, there is a strong possibility that his phone will ring and Bill Polian will be on the other end, offering him a chance at a roster spot. If that happens, Walters could go the route of Curtis Johnson this offseason and end up on the 53-man squad when the 2009 season kicks off.
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