Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker has just 2.5 sacks so far in 2023. It’s a pretty disappointing total through seven weeks for the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL draft, especially considering the other top five picks from last year — Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux — have combined for 10.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says sacks don’t tell the whole story, though. With a Week 8 matchup against the Jaguars on the way, Tomlin says his team still has to be mindful of Walker on Sunday.
“We’ve got to do a really good job of managing their bigs,” Tomlin said in a press conference Tuesday. “The edge guys really capture your attention. Josh Allen and Walker, in particular as a tandem, wreak a lot of havoc. I think Josh Allen’s got seven sacks.
“I think often times sacks don’t represent the havoc that Walker causes. I felt that way in an analysis of him leading up to the draft. He’s just a guy who wrecks a lot of things. He plays with a violence of play. He’s a wrecking ball.”
The Jaguars are fourth in the NFL in run defense and are allowing just 3.6 yards per carry. Walker has played a significant role in that.
“They’ve got a 3-4 structure, but boy, those are some big outside linebackers,” Tomlin said. “It’s almost like they’re doing it with 4-3 people. And it really creates challenging regarding creating space and moving them for running lanes, for example.”
The Steelers rank 31st in total offense and are 29th in rushing yards per attempt with an average of 3.3.