Draft Exclusive 50: Versatile DB Visits

In yet another story you won't find anywhere else, we talk to a ballhawking All-American who excelled, regardless of whether he lined up at safety or cornerback. He visited Green Bay recently and we talked to him on Wednesday.

Anthony Walters has been a man in demand.

And for good reason.

"I'm a little tired," Walters said on Wednesday, after arriving home in Philadelphia on a red-eye flight from a pre-draft visit with Seattle.

Walters was an All-American during a senior season at Delaware in which he showed off the versatility that NFL teams covet. Walters started at cornerback as a freshman, opened the season at cornerback as a sophomore but played most of the year at safety after a starter was lost to a torn ACL, and was first-team all-conference at corner as a junior. As a senior, Walters moved to safety so the top four defensive backs could get on the field at the same time, but by the fourth game of the season, Walters found himself back at cornerback.

"Wherever there was a need, I was playing that spot," Walters told Packer Report after a source told us that Walters had made a pre-draft visit to Green Bay.

Two sources told Packer Report that the Packers are extremely high on the versatile, productive Walters. Despite missing two games after dislocating a shoulder against James Madison — Walters missed only a few plays in that game and frequently waved off his replacement — Walters picked off seven passes to run his career total to 16.

His head coach at Delaware, K.C. Keeler, called Walters the "single brightest" player he's coached. Walters' intelligence and study habits have allowed him to bounce back and forth between cornerback and safety throughout his career. And he's impressed teams during his visits with his ability to discuss schemes and adjustments.

"When I talk to teams, they often ask, ‘What do you think your best attribute is?' I think it's my versatility," Walters said. "It's not really a physical attribute. It's more of an intelligence thing, more of an intellectual thing, because my knowledge helps me be versatile. I think versatility is the best thing I can offer any team, just the ability to play whatever position they want me to play and not make mistakes at it."

If drafted by the Packers, Walters was led to believe he would fit as a safety in the base defense but play cornerback in three- and four-receiver sets.

While Walters mentioned Ed Reed and Darrelle Revis as his favorite players, he said he admired the versatility of the Packers' do-it-all Charles Woodson.

"The versatility that he bring is something that I would hope to bring to a team one day," he sad. "He plays so many different positions — he can play safety, he can play nickel, he can blitz, he'll cover the slot, he'll cover the split end. Those are things that I hope to do when I get to the NFL."

Walters' Delaware teammate, Anthony Bratton, also had a pre-draft visit with the Packers, which we reported about a week-and-a-half ago. According to a source, Bratton is the better safety but Walters the better all-around player. On a Green Bay team without a major need at any of the secondary spots, Walters' versatility would seem like a great fit with a Day 3 selection.

"Every team I've talked to, they say they have me as a draftable guy and I'm on their draft board, which is good," Walters said. "But then, other people see things and might say seventh round or free agent. I'm just trying to take it all in stride and really enjoy the process. That's the big thing. Being where I am right now is an accomplishment but it's not the end of the road. Nothing really has happened yet where I can celebrate."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.


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