The Atlanta Falcons struggled defensively in 2020, but the team may have found another hidden gem deep in last year’s draft class.
The writers over at Pro Football Focus unveiled their 2020 All-Rookie Team on Monday and linebacker Mykal Walker was the only Falcons player named on the list. Here’s PFF’s Ben Linsey on Walker’s rookie season.
Walker is one of the players who shined in a more limited role. Across 387 defensive snaps this season, he earned a 74.0 overall grade that included a 90.7 grade in coverage. Walker allowed just 74 passing yards into his coverage on 152 coverage snaps all season. He may not have the same stats as several of the other rookie linebackers across the league, but his play warrants some recognition here.
A fourth-round selection out of Fresno State in 2020, Walker was the 119th overall selection. Little was expected of the rookie linebacker when he was drafted, but his play this season has warranted a bigger role going forward.
It may come as a surprise to Falcons fans that first-round pick A.J. Terrell is not named in PFF’s rookie rankings. The two corners who made the list Terrell were L’Darius Sneed of the Chiefs and Cameron Dantzler of the Vikings.
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