Mykal Walker NFL Draft 2020: Scouting Report for Atlanta Falcons' Pick

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 25, 2020

Fresno State Bulldogs linebacker Mykal Walker (3) in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Mykal Walker, Fresno State

LB25

STRENGTHS

—Two-year first-team All-Mountain West player with consistent performance and statistical production.

—Impressive spatial awareness allows him to naturally compete.

—Consistent tackler that won't wow with a ton of highlight hits but routinely gets the job done.

—Good awareness in underneath zone coverage to switch off routes and close perceived windows and throwing lanes.

—Can be an immediate core special teamer with some positional flexibility to play in the box, flexed slightly out to match slots underneath, and some edge-pressure potential.

               

WEAKNESSES

—Doesn't bring the thump as much as teams will want; too inconsistent to fill downhill with aggressiveness. 

—Doesn't need to be a headhunter, but his physicality doesn't flash.

—Good straight-line speed, but on-field movements look frenetic and disconnected; no sense of fluidity to his lateral movements. 

—Lateral burst and agility are major concerns.

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—Heavy-footed when he has to open and run to the boundary; angles look off and movement looks unnatural.

—Never seems to hit top gear while running in the open field. 

            

OVERALL 

Walker may be one of the most difficult evaluations in this linebacker class. He's routinely productive from a statistical standpoint and he has a natural feel for the position. His athletic testing numbers were solid, but his play on the field doesn't show an above-average athlete. He looks labored when he opens to run and never seems to hit his stride. Identifying whether it's a mobility, ability or effort issue will be critical in determining whether he succeeds in the NFL.

             

GRADE: 56

PRO COMPARISON: Alec Ogletree/Marquel Lee