The Hall of Fame match against the Raiders and Jaguars has officially kick-started the NFL preseason. It was amazing to watch these two teams battle it out giving us a taste of what’s to come in the 2022 season. The Jaguars were unfortunately defeated 27-11 by the Raiders.
Unlike the Raiders, Jacksonville had rested almost all of its key players. QB Trevor Lawernce was rested for the game and the position was filled in by Kyle Sloter and Jake Luton. However, the Jags did start their 2022 No.1 overall pick, Travon Walker.
“It was definitely an exciting feeling” – Travon Walker on his first NFL game
Travon Walker, outside linebackers for the University of Georgia was selected first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2022 NFL draft. They had big expectations from the 6-foot-5 OLB and he exceed all expectations as he showed a glimpse of his insane productivity and play-making ability in the HOF game.
Jags head coach Doug Pederson was mighty impressed by Travon Walker and his performance. “Man, I thought he did some really good things. There was some early, good, quick pass rushes in there. He was very disruptive. Showed his length, his athleticism, his power. He’s going to be fun to watch, I think, all season,” Pederson said after the game.
On the first play from scrimmage, Walker showed his explosive nature and power as he ball-rushed the Raiders’ offensive tackle Brandon Parker and hit their QB. Walker was instantly flagged on the play but it was the indication that the 21-year-old will be ”the guy to look out for” on the field. Coach Pederson agreed that there were some timing issues from Walker but he is hopeful that the young star will learn from those mistakes.
Walker was pleased to star in the game as he had to satiate his hunger to tackle a player. “I hadn’t hit an opponent in a while,” Walker said. “It was definitely an exciting feeling. It was my first one, but plenty more to come.” Walker definitely showed everyone why he was the No.1 pick and what he can offer to his team in the coming season. While the Jags’ depth issues were visible as they had 21 players sitting out of the game, Walker’s energy and productivity are a positive sign that there are people who can steer this defense and improve it from here on out.