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 Post subject: J.D. Walton, OC, Baylor
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:20 pm 
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Location: North Carolina
J.D. Walton
6-3/305
Baylor Senior

Pros: He has good strength and a nice mean streak. Shows ability to adjust in space and can pick up stunts. Gets into his stance pretty quick and works very well in the shotgun. Has nice footwork and flashes ability as a cut blocker. Does a nice job blocking on the second level. Will lock on in pass protection.
Cons: Not a great athlete, and needs to play with better leverage and balance. Not great when he's asked to block on the move, and needs to get better position there. Tends to lunge a bit, and needs to play with more pop as a run blocker.
Overview: Walton is a solid center that has the tools to become a solid pro, just needs a bit more polish.
NFL Forecast: I think Walton can compete for a starting position eventually. I think the best thing will be to sit for a year or so, but it shouldn't be long before he can handle being a starting center. He's got the size you want, although he's not what I'd call a center than can push the pile. But he won't be terrible when left on an island and I think he could succeed in the 3-4 heavy AFC as a starter. Bigger, stronger, and more athletic centers do come along, but Walton has all of the tools to be successful. All of the things he doesn't do well can be things that with good coaching can be improved upon. I don't expect him to become a top starting center, but an above average to good guy is definitely in the realm of possibilities. It wouldn't be surprising to see him like a Shaun O'Hara that down the road is anchoring one of the top lines in the league, despite not being considered one of the top centers.
ATL Forecast: He'd be a more physical option than McClure. McClure would be a good tutor for a year or two, before Walton would be asked to take over. Walton would develop into a capable starter here in Atlanta. Won't be great, but if given time to grow and develop continuity with the current guys, he could be an above average center. He could help the team get more push up the middle, and be a solid anchor for the better part of a decade much like McClure.
Value: He's a nice middle-round pick. It wouldn't be crazy for a team to take him late in the third round, but probably the fourth round is more his range since he's nothing special as a center prospect.

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