Mykal Walker named to 2020 PFF All-Rookie Team

The Atlanta Falcons' linebacker earned a 74.0 overall grade, including a 90.7 grade in coverage

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Let's forget about 2020, the Atlanta Falcons' 4-12 finish this past season and rewind the clock a bit.

And since we're approaching NFL mock draft season, let's go back to last March and April.

Remember all of the names that were dominating the pre-draft conversations, Twitter feeds and message boards? Highly touted prospects like Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, Isaiah Simmons, Derrick Brown, Javon Kinlaw and C.J. Henderson.

Well, one name you didn't hear much about at all was Mykal Walker's, and that's likely because the former Fresno State standout was projected to be a Day 3 pick, at best. NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein projected Walker going in the sixth round.

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The Atlanta Falcons apparently liked what they saw in Walker and selected him higher – in the fourth round with the 119th overall pick. And based on Walker's rookie-year performance, the Falcons may have found a diamond in the rough.

Walker, in fact, was named to the Pro Football Focus 2020 All-Rookie Team, a group that includes the likes of the aforementioned Young, Brown and Simmons.

"If going purely off counting stats such as tackles, the all-rookie linebackers would be players like Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen, who started for their respective defenses and piled up numbers," writes Ben Linsey of PFF. "The PFF grades tell a different story, with Murray earning a PFF grade of 54.4 on the season and Queen coming in as one of the lowest-graded linebackers in the league at 29.8.

"Walker is one of the players who shined in a more limited role. Across 387 defensive snaps this season, he earned a 74.0 overall grade that included a 90.7 grade in coverage. Walker allowed just 74 passing yards into his coverage on 152 coverage snaps all season. He may not have the same stats as several of the other rookie linebackers across the league, but his play warrants some recognition here."

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PFF 2020 All-Rookie Team

Table inside Article
POSITION PLAYER TEAM
Quarterback Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers
Running back Jonathan Taylor Indianapolis Colts
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson Minnesota Vikings
Wide receiver Tee Higgins Cincinnati Bengals
Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk San Francisco 49ers
Tight end Adam Trautman New Orleans Saints
Tackle Tristan Wirfs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Guard Damien Lewis Seattle Seahawks
Center Tyler Biadasz Dallas Cowboys
Guard Kevin Dotson Pittsburgh Steelers
Tackle Michael Onwenu New England Patriots
Defensive line Derrick Brown Carolina Panthers
Defensive line Raekwon Davis Miami Dolphins
Edge Chase Young Washington Football Team
Edge Alex Highsmith Pittsburgh Steelers
Linebacker Mykal Walker Atlanta Falcons
Linebacker Isaiah Simmons Arizona Cardinals
Cornerback L'Jarius Sneed Kansas City Chiefs
Cornerback Cameron Dantzler Minnesota Vikings
Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Safety Kamren Curl Washington Football Team
Flex-D: Safety Jeremy Chinn Carolina Panthers

Linebacker Mykal Walker, selected in the fourth round with the 119th overall pick, was named to the Pro Football Focus 2020 All-Rookie Team.

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