One mid-round linebacker the Giants could pair with Blake Martinez in 2022

quay walker, georgia, giants

With the Giants hiring Wink Martindale as their new defensive coordinator, drafting and signing athletes is a priority with his man coverage-heavy scheme that relies on blitzing and speed.

Luckily, management restructured the contract of linebacker Blake Martinez, who suffered a torn ACL in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons last season. Retaining a defensive leader who is one of the best tacklers in football while lowering his cap hit was a great move. The Giants would be smart to pair him with a young linebacker vi the NFL Draft.

Of course, the big names like Nakobe Dean and Devin Lloyd stand out as the best in the draft class. However, there could be a few gems in the middle grounds that Big Blue could target, one of them being Georgia linebacker Quay Walker.

Walker is an instinctive player that stands at 6’4″ and 241 pounds. For his frame, Walker possesses great reactionary speed and sideline to sideline capabilities. With solid football IQ and eyes at the second level, he’s capable of plugging gaps and stopping runners through the middle of the formation.

While Walker doesn’t possess elite speed by any means, his positioning and understanding of the game give him an advantage. Walker projects as a good backup with eventual starter potential at linebacker, but given the only other option, the Giants currently have on the roster is Tae Crowder, who has likely already reached his ceiling, drafting a player to compete with him would be ideal. Coincidentally, Walker and Crowder bare both Georgia products.

As you can see in the clips, Walker possesses good vision and flows nicely over the line of scrimmage to stop runners. He’s rarely confused by motion and keeps his eyes on the football at all times. In addition, Walker is great at dropping back into coverage and lining up against tight ends. He has sufficient reaction timing that allows him to break on ball carriers. Another positive — Walker rarely misses tackles, which was a problem for the Giants last season.

Under former general manager Dave Gettleman, the mid-rounds were a graveyard of players, but new GM Joe Schoen should have more success given his history with the Buffalo Bills.

Nonetheless, Walker fits the bill nicely with his coverage abilities and great intelligence at the second level. Allowing him to learn from Blake Martinez would give him a tremendous advantage, and he could likely compete with Crowder immediately for starting snaps.