Has a good strong leg with the range to kick beyond 55 yards when working indoors. Is a capable kick-off guy that can drive the ball to the goalline when working indoors or outdoors. Effective on onsides kicks at times, able to dribble the ball and catch opponents off guard.
Erratic with his accuracy and misses too many make-able kicks. Doesn't have reliable range from beyond 45 despite his leg strength. Tends to push too many kicks wide when working from the far hashes.
Walsh is a big-legged kicker that can wow you at times with his leg strength and range. And he's a solid kickoff guy. But his accuracy is too erratic, and he's not a guy you can trust to make the big kicks. He was productive at Georgia, but that dropped off as a senior. As a sophomore and junior, he combined to make 17 of 20 kicks from beyond 40 yards, but only made 7 of 17 as a senior. He also was less consistent from inside 40 yards.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/3) vs. Boise St: 0/1 FG (missed: 54 yds); 4 kickoffs, 70.0 avg
(9/10) vs. South Carolina: 2/3 (made: 37, 39; missed: 33); 7 kickoffs, 75.0 avg
(12/3) vs. LSU: 1/2 (made: 40; missed: 45); 2 kickoffs, 73.5 avg
2011: 14 GP, 21 of 35 FGs (60%), 56 long, 46 of 46 PATs, 68 KOs, 65.4 avg, 19 TBS
If Walsh can work through his senior year struggles, then he can become a solid to good NFL kicker. His leg strength is the sort of plus ability that NFL teams want. Teams want guys that have the ability to hit those big kicks from beyond 50 yards, and he has that sort of ability. But the inconsistency and erratic play as a senior is a major red flag. And it's the sort of adversity that if a kicker can overcome, should make him a much better player. But if he cannot, it's a career-killer. For a team looking for a big-legged kicker that can also kick off, Walsh fits the bill. But any team that entrusts their kicking job to him immediately could be setting themselves up for disaster. If his kicking woes aren't behind him, and I doubt they will be, he could really struggle to immediately translate in the pros. Instead, he's a guy that might need a couple of years to really find his footing, pun-intended. Ultimately, I think Walsh will eventually play in the league, but I'm not sure he'll be a long-term solution for anybody because of questionable ability in the clutch. The comparison I would make is to a player like Billy Cundiff, who has bounced around the league because you can't trust him to make the big kick. Another comparison is Jay Feely, who's always shined as a kickoff guy, but always been sporadic with the big kicks. Like Feely, I think Walsh can last a while in the league because he'll for the most part be competent, but despite his upside may never be considered one of the best kickers in the league.
Jay Feely, Cardinals.
Walsh could push for time against a guy like Bryant right away, but probably would not unseat him. And because Bosher proved himself to be a capable kickoff guy in the latter half of last year, Walsh's ability to contribute there won't add as much value as it would in other NFL cities. But in terms of a fallback option if Bryant were to start to struggle or get hurt, or Bosher reverting to his formerly poor play, he might work in Atlanta. Playing in the Georgia Dome, a venue where he has plenty of experience would be familiar, and he could be one of the more productive kickoff specialists there. But in the end, will you be able to trust him to make the big kicks. And he doesn't seem to possess the clutch gene that a guy like Bryant has. He might prove effective, but like Feely after a couple of seasons you probably will opt to move on.
Walsh has the talent to merit a late round pick, but his inconsistency is too much to really be a worthwhile pick. Instead, he should be a priority free agent for a team looking for a big-legged kickoff guy that can compete for an open competition in camp.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Leg Strength: 8.0
Clutch Kicking: 5.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.