Landing Walker Little out of Texas was a huge get for the Stanford Cardinal as Little was not only the 2nd rated tackle in the 2016 class but also the 7th best prospect overall. Little was able to make an immediate impact working his way into the starting lineup at left tackle during his true freshman year before locking down the position as a sophomore. Now entering his junior season the NFL Draft hype is buzzing about Walker Little and we’ll take a look at the positive and negative aspects of his game and whether or not he has what it takes to be an first round pick.
What Walker Little Does Well
To be successful as a tackle in the NFL you have to have good lateral agility and quickness to handle the athletic pass rushers that are coming off the edge. Walker Little has such easy lateral movement skills that allow him to shadow pass rushers trying to get after the quarterback. Because Little has good lateral quickness he can be patient with edge rushers forcing them to make their move before he has to react. Even if a pass rusher is able to make a counter move Little is able to redirect to mirror the pass rusher staying in front of them and cut off their movements.
Concerns about Walker Little
While Walker Little has good lateral agility and always seems to be in the right position he lacks the consistent balance and core strength to lock down defenders on a regular basis. Late in their game against Notre Dame really highlighted this as Little was abused by power moves that often left him knocked off balance and the defender being able to get quarterback hits which lead to two interceptions and another near pick. Whether it is having his feet too close to each other during his lateral slides or just lacking the anchor he’s too easily displaced by defenders.
Walker Little NFL Draft Outlook
In early 2020 Mock Drafts there has been a lot of praise for Walker Little where he is routinely mocked in the top 10. And while the lateral agility he has is at the top of the class he still has some pretty big holes in his game. Whether it is cleaning up some technique issues or just developing more strength, teams will not like drafting a tackle early in the first round that gets pushed around. Little reminds of Greg Little in the fact that he is ultra athletic and a ton of experience but both are still a bit raw. The difference is Greg had long arms and based on the tape it looks as if Walker’s arms are a bit short. Greg Little ended up being a second round pick and I wouldn’t be shocked if Walker Little was also.