The rookie season of Green Bay Packers linebacker Quay Walker was defined by two actions. He was ejected from a game twice, Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills and Week 18 against the Detroit Lions, for making contact with a person on the field that was not in uniform.
The latter incident, when he pushed an athletic trainer on the Lions coming out to check on an injured De’Andre Swift, was especially damning given what the league went through not even a week prior with Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills suffering a cardiac arrest on the field. It was a poor lack of judgment on Quay Walker’s part as it played a part in costing the Packers a game they needed to win.
This offseason a lot of his focus will be on learning discipline as Quay Walker is too important of a player to the Packers’ game plan to continue taking himself out of the game. As shared by Zach Kruse on Twitter, the Georgia product was an impact player this season.
Quay Walker led all defensive rookies in PFF’s stop stat with 41. A stat is categorized as a tackle that constitutes failure for the offense, such as a tackle for loss or plays to prevent a first down from being achieved.
Out of all non-EDGE rookies, Quay Walker led the way in pressures with 12, getting into the backfield when given the opportunity. The three fumbles that he forced were second among rookies and he was third in pass coverage.
That is certainly something that Green Bay can work with as Quay Walker has the tools to become a mainstay in this defense for years to come. Having linebackers with the ability to drop into coverage with success is a necessity now given how much of a passing league the NFL has become.
That is a good base to have, but there is still work to be done. Quay Walker was a liability in the run game this season, which played a part in some of his inconsistencies when it came to game grades from PFF.
Overall, the Packers have to be happy with the performance of Quay Walker in his rookie season. If they can help him clean up some areas of his game this offseason, he will take another step in his production and development in Year 2.