Just a few weeks ago, Boise State pass rusher Curtis Weaver was our featured Mountain West prospect of the week. This time around we move a little closer to the coast to dissect another 2020 NFL Draft defensive prospect from the conference, a player few are talking about – Fresno State Bulldogs linebacker Mykal Walker.
Walker rarely gets mentioned in the internet scouting world. However, those who scout for a living are more than familiar with the prospect they stamped as a potential fourth-round draft pick at the start of the season.
And it’s fair to say Walker has lived up to expectations during the first half of 2019.
Mykal Walker’s new role in 2020 for the Bulldogs
Last year, his first for Fresno State after transferring from Azusa Pacific, Walker made an immediate impact for the Bulldogs. He was an all-Conference selection after finishing the season with 87 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. His totals also included 1 interception and 7 PBU’s.
Walker was primarily used at the line of scrimmage as a 3-4 linebacker and asked to make plays up the field. Yet when dropped into space, the athletic defender displayed a lot of skill. He was a fluid yet forceful prospect and played with intelligence, toughness, and discipline.
This year has been a transition for Walker, moving to middle linebacker and being asked to play a more traditional role at the position. He started off hot with 15 tackles in the season opener against USC and was named a Week 1 riser here at PFN. And though not as productive since that first contest, Walker has 58 tackles in six games this season.
Though his stats may not be gaudy this year, the way he’s taken to a traditional linebacker position has been impressive. It was also necessary as Walker measures 6-feet-3-inches and 230 pounds and would struggle to play over tackle at the next level.
Just like most scouts, I presently grade Walker as a fourth-round prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft which I believe will come to fruition next April. I would expect the senior to get a roster spot in one of the post-season All-Star games to be followed by an invitation to the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where I expect him to test well.
This week the Bulldogs take on Colorado State, a struggling team that does still possess one of the best passing attacks in the Mountain West Conference. It will be a great test of Walker’s pass coverage skills. While I’m not going out on a limb to predict Walker will start at the next level, I believe he has the tools to be a productive nickel linebacker and special teams player for the NFL team that spends a draft pick on him next April.