With the Jaguars' second pick on day two, at 45 overall, head coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke selected former five-star left tackle Walker Little. Little stands 6'7" and weighs in at 313 pounds.
The Stanford Cardinal product hasn't taken a snap since week one of 2019, when he suffered a torn ACL. After the PAC-12 decided to cancel their fall football season in 2020, Little opted out and made arrangements to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Like many other PAC-12 draft hopefuls, he elected to stay opted out after his conference had a change of heart.
Let's take a look at Walker Little on the field.
Strengths: Little shows good functional athleticism and bend. He's able to mirror egde rushers on most snaps. His balance is really impressive as he rarely ends up in the dirt. You would think with his 6'7" frame that Little would have elite length, instead, it's just good enough. He finished off opponents somewhat regularly. Little's awareness is on display as he picks up on defensive line stunts and games.
Weaknesses: Little struggle to consistently time his punch. His angles in pass protection leave something to be desired and somewhat regularly gets his QB buried. It's hard for him to play with leverage due to his height. Inconsistent at best run blocker, who doesn't explode off the ball or create push with any regularity. Based on the tape, he could stand to get stronger in both his upper and lower body.
Fit with the Jaguars: Little is far from a finished product. Though he got plenty of experience as a freshman and sophomore, he needed more reps as a junior. His lone performance in 2019 was one of the best of his career, giving some reason to believe he's already significantly improved. With Cam Robinson on the franchise tag on the left side and Jawaan Taylor in the third year of his rookie deal on the right, the Jaguars won't need Little to start right away. And he certainly doesn't appear ready to start games at the next level, so getting a redshirt year in 2021 should benefit this talented tackle prospect. For now, he should serve as a motivational tool for both Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor and a key backup.
Final thoughts: Like Tyson Campbell before him, Walker Little was a bit of a reach on my board. There were several tackles I would've taken before him that were still available. However, with Little's bend and natural feel for the position, he might have the most upside of any offensive tackle selected outside of round one. He's much more advanced in pass protection than as a run blocker, but he shows high-level plays in both areas, along with more low lights than you'd like to see. The bottom line is, we really don't know where Little is physically. Is he fully recovered from his ACL tear? Is he already stronger and more athletic than he was last time we saw him play?
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