JACKSONVILLE, Florida. John Elway and Vance Joseph had this to say about Walker, VJ: “With Walker, he’s a great inside rusher and having more rushers is always a premium.”
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) April 25, 2017
JE: “DeMarcus was the top guy on our board that fell to us. We’re thrilled how that fell. You never know how it’s going to fall. We can never have enough of those pass rushers and he can do it inside and he can do it outside. We’re excited about him.
On how the Day 2 draft picks players help add toughness
VJ: “It’s a tough game, and you want guys with a tough, winning mentality. That’s contagious. That’s a great trait to have as a football player. You want tough guys, confident guys and guys who hate to lose. We added four guys in the last two days with the right mentality, and guys who hate to lose. That’s important.”
DeMarcus Walker against Chad Kelly
On taking a defensive lineman in the second round for the second year in a row
JE: “First of all we were thrilled with where [DE] Adam [Gotsis]. I’ll let Vance talk about that, but we just looked at DeMarcus’ production: 25 sacks the last two years, the energy that he plays the game and the hustle that he plays with the game. I think he had 44 tackles for losses. He can play inside, he can play outside and so you just never have enough good pass rushers. I think Adam is going to take a huge step forward this year. You look at our defense and where our defense was two years ago, and VJ and I were talking about this, how effective we were when we had [Jaguars DE] Malik [Jackson] inside and rushing inside. DeMarcus has that ability and will have that ability. That’s why we’re so excited about him. We think Adam is really going to take a big step this year and then DeMarcus is going to bring an already good repertoire as far as pass rushing moves and be able to rush the passer.”
VJ: “I’ll follow up there. Adam, he had a great camp last week. He’s in good shape. He’s healthy. Last year he wasn’t totally healthy. He’s in a good place in his head right now. He’s working hard. He looked great last week. He looked fast. He looked explosive, so I’m excited about Adam. He’s in a good place now. Last year he thought he couldn’t be himself as far as a player, but he’s back. We’re excited about Adam.
On the improvements to the defensive line
VJ: “The defensive line, in my opinion, we’ve gotten better there. We’ve gotten bigger and stronger there with [NT Domata] Peko and [DE Zach[ Kerr and now with Walker being a dynamic inside rusher. That helps there, and with Adam Gotsis being healthy this year. The defensive line, it looks different. We’re big and we’re strong and explosive.”
On whether the team considered trading up from pick No. 51 to select Walker
JE: “We were making a lot of inquiries about going up, so yeah. We were working hard. When it first got started, there was a lot of actions and different things going on in that second round. We made a lot of attempts to get up. We kept just missing and sure enough, thankfully, DeMarcus kept falling back to us. We were close and couldn’t get anything done. It was one of those things. You can only work so hard and if you don’t force it and you do what you feel is right and follow your gut and then at a certain point, you say it’s too much and don’t do it. Things have a tendency to work out. They did for us today with DeMarcus falling into the second round and now we got to keep our third and so we were able to get two more good football players there. I like to be good, but I also like to be lucky (laughing).”
I am not objective when it come to DeMarcus ‘Mamba Mode’ Walker because I saw him play at Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, plus every game he played at Florida State University. In March, I wrote this in a scouting report on linebackers and defensive linemen:
Here comes my bias. Flat out, can’t see straight bias. I love DE DeMarcus Walker. He, Von Miller and Derek Wolfe playing together gives me the need to howl. Now that DeMarcus Ware (sniffle) has retired, a huge hole has opened up. Walker can’t match his HOF ability, but he does possess that same kind of quiet intense leadership. Plus, when you lead the nation in sacks, you’re not chopped liver. Walker is disruptive, keeps his eyes on plays and is faster than he appears. He also stayed in school to get his degree.
I’m going to relay a quick moment that tells you why (beyond his ability) I want him. During the Orange Bowl, Michigan had stormed back from a huge deficit and it looked like all was lost for FSU. The cameras caught a player with his head hanging down and Walker said, “get your head up, get your head up!” How many times have you seen our players looking glum and you want to jump into the TV and slap them silly? As long as there’s time on the board to come back, you never give up! Aqib Talib is like that. Walker is, too. That’s who you want in the trenches. That mentality wins games. Which FSU did.
Walker was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year racking up 15 sacks, 64 tackles and 17.5 for loss of yards. He also forced three fumbles.
— Drew Copley (@DrewASJax) April 29, 2017
This is what he had to say tonight after being drafted and Broncos Country: “I’m just a relentless player with skills. I’m all in wherever they want me to play. I’m going to go after the quarterback to win games.”
He was angry he went in the second round and has a chip on his shoulder. “Even if I would’ve came in as the first pass rusher, I would’ve always had a chip on my shoulder. I believe I am going to prove myself—maybe even more so right now, for sure.I’ll just show them. I have nothing to say. I’ll just show them. ”
His thoughts on our defense and who he wants to learn from. “All of them. You can never get enough knowledge. I’m going to learn from all of them.”