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Travon Walker Is Now Favored To Be The 2022 NFL Draft's No. 1 Pick And What The Hell's Going On Out Here

Todd Kirkland. Getty Images.

I'm sorry, what? Trent Baalke making a terrible decision in the NFL Draft? Who would've thunk it! The No. 1 overall pick futures market just refreshed for the 2022 NFL Draft, and Georgia defender Travon Walker (-167) is now ahead of Michigan star Aidan Hutchinson (+160) to go first to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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Now, there is the chance that the Jags are trading out of this pick and someone else fell head over heels with Walker. I don't buy that, though. Baalke is notorious for taking unnecessary risks on draft day. Personally, I'm all for physical tools and upside, but there has to be some baseline of college production and a clearly defined role in which the prospect dominated. 

When it comes to Walker, he's a tricky evaluation, because yeah, he's a workout warrior, but with testing numbers like he had, he should've had way more of an impact than he did at Georgia, where he played for three seasons and only made a noticeable impact during the 2021 campaign on a defense LOADED with future NFL talent.

This was quite literally the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the news of Walker's sudden spike in odds:

I'm baffled. Aidan Hutchinson also tested extremely well. In fact, let's put the two head-to-head for a comparison:

  • Travon Walker Combine: 6-foot-5, 272 lbs, 35 1/2" arms, 4.51 40, 35.5" vert, 123 broad jump, 6.89 3-cone, 4.32 20 shuttle 
  • Aidan Hutchinson Combine: 6-foot-7, 260 lbs, 32 1/8" arms, 4.74 40, 36" vert, 117 broad jump, 6.73 3-cone, 4.15 20 shuttle

So Hutchinson has shorter arms but is two inches taller and bendier around the edge than Walker. The last two drills listed (3-cone, 20-yd shuttle) test lateral quickness, change of direction and applicable EDGE defender football movements (as opposed to, you know, running 40 yards in a straight line). Hutchinson was superior in both of those.

Oh and we haven't even gotten to the production part of it yet. Hutchinson racked up 16.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks in 2021. He also had 69 tackles and 10 TFL in 2019, and Michigan's 2020 campaign was a wash due to COVID.

Walker had 19 solo tackles (7 TFL) and six sacks. Again, there will be multiple first-round picks on Georgia's defense, and by multiple I mean, like, as many as four or five. Maybe more!

According to Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline, Jags owner Shad Khan wants to draft Hutchinson, whereas Baalke is pounding the table for Walker. How predictable is this? With all the missteps Khan has had in charge of this dumpster fire of an organization, even he can see Hutchinson is the superior prospect.

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The Jags' dysfunction continues. Pray for Trevor Lawrence, everyone. Not that picking Walker over Hutchinson will likely have a ton of impact on Jacksonville's fortunes this upcoming season, but damn. I just don't get Trent Baalke.

People are starting to speculate Baalke is taking Walker over Hutchinson out of spite, since Jim Harbaugh — who Baalke had a falling-out with when they shared time with the 49ers — coached Hutchinson at Michigan. That'd be a level of petty you could almost respect if it wasn't the dumbest shit ever.

If this be the case, all we can do is salute Trent Baalke for his perpetual God-tier stupidity.

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