With defense being a major part of the Cleveland Browns chances in 2022, it’s easy to lose sight of some players.
This has happened with linebacker Anthony Walker, as he’s not as well known as the other Browns defensive stars.
However, does this mean he’s being undervalued as a player on the roster?
To find this out, we need to take a dive into his history in the NFL.
People Didn’t See Walker As A Good Player When Colts Took Him In 2017
When the Indianapolis Colts made their fifth-round pick, they took Walker.
However, some would caution that the linebacker wasn’t that good.
Anthony Walker isn't as good most of you think he is. Below average athlete, and I saw him get beat in coverage way too often. Meh.
— Nick Hjeltness (@NickHjeltness) April 29, 2017
But even with the negative talk about him, the Colts still took a chance on him.
He would be a backup player coming into the league, with the potential to become a starter.
It wouldn’t take long for the Colts to make him a starter on defense, as he was proving critics wrong about him.
However, he’s never been a superstar linebacker during his career.
While he isn’t horrible, there’s little to be excited about with Walker.
But maybe last year’s performance with the Browns might shed some more light on the matter.
Walker Was In The Top Five Of Linebackers In Coverage
If the Browns want a coverage linebacker, then Walker’s stats from last season show he’s their guy for the job.
#Browns Anthony Walker finished with the 4th-best PFF coverage grade (78.2) and the 8th-most coverage snaps per target (9.3) among qualifying LBs in 2021.
Nice to see him back with the orange and brown. https://t.co/7gjVT9MbVl
— Cody Suek (@CodySuek) March 16, 2022
Finishing in the top five with his PFF coverage grade of 78.2 among linebackers would show he’s good.
With his value as a coverage linebacker being a great thing for the Browns’ pass defense, it’s hard to not value that.
However, some will continue to say he’s not that good because he doesn’t get sacks.
In fact, in his entire NFL career, the linebacker only has 4.5 sacks in five seasons.
His most came in 2019, where he got 2.5 sacks and would post the best numbers of his career that year.
While he was good last season, he hasn’t gone over his 2019 tackles and sacks numbers.
However, with 2022 coming fast, the Browns will demand a lot from him as their middle linebacker for the season.
Walker Is An Undervalued Defensive Talent
While the young linebacker isn’t flashy and doesn’t get sacks often, he knows how to cover receivers.
This will be important if the team makes the AFC playoffs and goes against Travis Kelce or O. J. Howard.
Those two tight ends are the best in the AFC, and the Browns will see them in the playoffs if they can get there.
However, Walker is the one defender that can cover the zone and deny these tight ends any type of offense.
So while he might not be the most undervalued player on the Browns roster, he’s the one defensive player many undervalue.
His skill set in the pass game will be helpful for the Browns this season.
If fans don’t see the value in that, then they are missing out on a wonderful talent at middle linebacker.