By Anna Glenn Grove
Georgia’s own outside linebacker, D’Andre Walker, has found himself in Music City. However, without chimpanzees at the local zoo- Walker’s favorite thing. Walker was the Titans selection with their fifth round draft pick and went 168th overall. His senior year at UGA he recorded 45 tackles, 11 tackles for losses and 7.5 quarterback sacks.
Walker did not start on the line for the Bulldogs until his senior year, but was nonetheless an impactful presence. For his first three seasons, he was playing behind Lorenzo Carter who went on to become a second round draft pick to the Giants. Carter has been one of many former teammates of Walker’s to reach out and help him throughout the process of being a new player in the NFL.
Walker’s breakout season at Georgia was his final year and, more specifically, the SEC Championship game against Alabama. Walker was the main reason for Tua Tagovailoa’s struggle throughout that game. Following this high, Walker left the game on a low due to a groin injury.
Because of this, the NFL Draft was different for Walker. He had to patiently wait and recover from the postseason injury as well as from a sports hernia surgery that following January. Hoping for the best, his dreams became a reality when he received that Tennessee call.
There was also another surprise waiting at the draft that Walker did not see coming. A childhood friend who Walker had known since playing ten year old youth football with him in Georgia. Christion Abercrombie was able to announce the Titans pick in Walker, an emotional moment for both friends. Someone who Walker had always admired as a survivor of a brain injury and fellow football player.
“After what he went through it was a blessing for the both of us,” Walker said. “Just seeing the passion that he had before he walked out on the stage was amazing.”
Abercrombie actually attended the first day of Titans Minicamp this week and had a moment with Walker.
Some call Walker the biggest steal the Titans had in the NFL Draft while others doubt his size. Stacking up at 6’2’’, Walker could be on the small end of Tennessee’s linebackers. However, he makes up for this in arm length and extension as well as burst. Walker never shies from contact and he may be able to push for a spot opposite of Cameron Wake for edge.
Walker is built similarly in size and stature to Harold Landry and we do not count him out of earning a spot on the Titans roster.
Keep your eyes on Walker and don’t worry about the lack of chimps in Nashville, he already has a road trip planned to South Carolina.