Giants: One exciting vertical wide receiver to keep an eye on at the Senior Bowl

North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Devontez Walker (9) (New York Giants prospect) catches the ball as Duke Blue Devils cornerback Al Blades Jr. (7) defends in the first quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 Reesee’s Senior Bowl will take place next weekend and the New York Giants will have coaches on staff. The Senior Bowl is a valuable moment in the pre-draft evaluation process, allowing teams to get a closer look at some of the NFL Draft’s prospects who may have been overlooked to this point.

The Giants are still in need of wide receiver help entering this offseason and could identify talent at the Senior Bowl to add to their mix of playmakers. One wide receiver stands out as a potential riser at the Senior Bowl that could fit in with Big Blue’s offense.

A deep-threat wide receiver the Giants could consider:

It seems like at least one wide receiver becomes a pre-draft riser at the Senior Bowl every year. This year, there’s a good chance that UNC’s Devontez Walker becomes that player. Walker has a wide range of draft projections with some sites viewing him as a Day 1 prospect and others considering him an option for Day 3.

“Tez” Walker as he’s better known is a 6-foot-3, 175-pound outside receiver who posted 699 yards and seven touchdowns in 2023 for the Tarheels. He was a transfer player in 2023 after spending the first two seasons of his collegiate career at Kent State. He recorded 58 receptions for 921 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2022 for Kent State.

Tez Walker earned high praise from PFF

Walker faced some top-tier competition during his time at Kent State. Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema highlighted this in a recent article:

“While at Kent State, his team played against the likes of Washington, Georgia, and Oklahoma, and not only did Walker look like he belonged, he looked like the best player on the field at times.”

Sikkema listed Walker as one of his “my-guys” for the upcoming draft:

“Walker doesn’t have the best grades or stats, but I think he could be a top-50 pick,” Sikkema wrote. “The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Walker has some of the best vertical ability in the class. He has very fast footwork to get off press coverage and gets into his top speed quickly. When he hits that final gear of speed, it is difference-making.”

Where should the Giants target Walker in the draft?

With such a wide range of draft stock projections for Walker, it’s difficult to determine where he will be selected when it’s all said and done. His performance down in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl will be critical in determining his final draft stock.

Some analysts, such as Sikkema, view Walker as a late first-round flier. Others, like The Draft Network’s Damian Parson, view him as a Day 2 pick. Then you have other analysts, such as Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings, who describe Walker as a “fringe late Day 2-early Day 3 prospect.”

Because of his varied draft stock, Walker will need to bring his A-Game to Mobile. If he lands on the National Team roster, Giants quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney will have the pleasure of coaching Walker as the team’s offensive coordinator for the Senior Bowl. This could provide the Giants with an opportunity to scout Walker closely during the week of practices leading up to the Bowl game.

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