Soaking it up: Travon Walker taking in all the ‘extra work’ that he can

No. 1 pick says he’s getting as many reps as he can with veteran Josh Allen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Travon Walker gets a text from time to time and knows exactly who its from and what it’s going to say.

It’s usually Josh Allen with a not-so-subtle poke about getting some extra work in. If that’s what it takes to be great, Walker, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft from Georgia, is all for it.

Like Allen, Walker was drafted to be a defensive cornerstone for the Jaguars. But if Jacksonville wants to break out of the funk of back-to-back miserable seasons and consecutive No. 1 overall picks, it has to be better on defense.

The Jaguars ranked 20th in the league last season in yards allowed, 28th in sacks and points allowed and last in takeaways. Allen and Walker will have a big say in how those numbers improve.

“Josh, he’s been a great help to me. He’s one of those guys always hitting me up. He likes to get extra work, so we like to get extra work as well,” Walker said on Monday during mandatory minicamp at TIAA Bank Field.

“So, I come out here and work with him. Every time he texts me, ‘go get that extra work.’ He’s been a great source for me, somebody who’s been there ever since I walked in the door just to try and help me improve as a player and help me grow and be a great NFL player that he wants to be and this team needs.”

Mandatory minicamp opened for the Jaguars, albeit with a catch. First-year coach Doug Pederson gave the bulk of the team the week off and limited things to rookies and select veterans.

Walker is one of those players attending this week. The goals are for the edge rusher to continue to refine his technique and focusing on learning a single position. Walker has been working exclusively at outside linebacker, something he said he has enjoyed. Many of the OTA’s and camp sessions that have been open to the media have seen walker working with outside linebackers coach Bill Shuey.

“He just wants me to improve myself. I set out goals before I even came to OTA’s and camp, I set out goals going forward. He just wants me to chase my dream and complete those goals,” Walker said of Shuey.

At Georgia, Walker was constantly lining up at a variety of positions. He reiterated again Monday just how much he can learn from putting in constant reps at one position. Allen has been another person in Walker’s ear, constantly trying to get in more offseason work. And, with good reason. During Allen’s rookie season, he had veteran Calais Campbell to learn from.

Allen served up a challenge to Walker not long after he was drafted out of Georgia.

Allen told Walker he had a goal for him to accomplish — break his single-season rookie sack record. Allen had 10.5 sacks in 2019 and earned Pro Bowl honors.

“He did. Yes, he did. I know I can get it done,” Walker said.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.