There was no Derek Carr, no Davante Adams and no Trevor Lawrence in the 2022 Hall of Fame Game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday, but there was one notable name to watch.
And that notable name was Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker, who just so happened to be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2022 NFL draft.
He wasted little time making an impression in his NFL debut at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, blowing past the Raiders' offensive line and getting a quarterback hit. Unfortunately for the rookie, he was whistled for roughing the passer.
Walker quickly learned, though, and notched a sack on Las Vegas' second possession.
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Welcome to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a>, Travon Walker!<br><br>The No. 1 pick collects his first sack of the preseason. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DUUUVAL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DUUUVAL</a><br><br>📺: NBC and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacockTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/Wmdusin9fG">pic.twitter.com/Wmdusin9fG</a>
His power, speed and ability to use his arms as leverage stood out to plenty of viewers:
The final score matters far less than individual performances in the preseason, especially in the first game. Walker got consistent pressure on Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham and looked the part of a franchise cornerstone for a team that needs one on the defensive side.
If he can build on this opening performance throughout the preseason, he should be ready to lead the defense in the season opener against the Washington Commanders on Sept. 11.