From National Champ To Favored No. 1 Pick, Travon Walker Enjoys Life At The Top

Written By Fairway Jay on April 26, 2022 - Last Updated on April 27, 2022
Georgia Bulldog potential No. 1 pick, 2022 NFL Draft

Georgia Bulldogs football fans are familiar with Travon Walker’s strength, speed and ability playing on the Bulldogs’ elite defense the past few seasons.

The 6-foot 5-inch, 272-pound defender showcased his athleticism and impressive mobility and versatility during last month’s NFL Scouting Combine.

NFL insiders have been touting his talent and potential, and he’s about to be rewarded as a top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Over the last month, Walker has been rising up the odds board and mock drafts to become the No. 1 overall projected pick.

While sports betting in Georgia is still not legal, fans in the Peach State will enjoy watching Walker’s rise and red carpet walk across the Draft stage at the beautiful Bellagio Fountains starting Thursday for the NFL Draft in Las Vegas.

Walker shakes up the odds and mock drafts

Following the odds and interest in Walker, we’ve seen the Bulldogs star and his sharp rise since March. In recent weeks, Walker trailed only Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson as the favorite to be the No. 1 pick.

But starting Sunday night, more NFL insiders started the shake-up. Peter King of NBC Sports released his latest mock draft and had Walker as the No. 1-overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

There is also talk that new Jaguars head coach Doug Peterson is very interested in NC State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu. There is a buzz of “Ickey” being the No. 1 pick.

Drafting a potential cornerstone left tackle to protect young franchise quarterback and last year’s No. 1-overall pick Trevor Lawrence would make a ton of sense for Jacksonville.

The value of NFL rookie contracts and the No. 1 pick

Becoming the No. 1 pick is worth a 5-year rookie contract of approximately $41 million, according to Spotrac and its 2022 NFL Draft Tracker. The estimated contracts and signing bonus for selected Round 1 picks include:

  • No. 1 – $41 million contract and $27 million signing bonus (Jaguars)
  • No. 2 – $39 million and $26 million signing bonus (Lions)
  • No. 3 – $38 million and $25 million signing bonus (Texans)
  • No. 4 – $37 million and $24 million signing bonus (Jets)
  • No. 5 – $34 million and $22 million signing bonus (Giants)
  • No. 10 – $22 million and $13 million signing bonus
  • No. 20 – $15 million and $8 million signing bonus
  • No. 32 – $12 million and $6 million signing bonus.

The difference between being the No. 1 pick of the Jaguars and the No. 33 pick of the Jaguars (first pick of Round 2) is a contract and signing bonus of $41 million and $27 million to $10 million and $4 million.

Starting in the middle of Round 3, players signing bonuses are less than $1 million, and by Round 7, players contracts are $3.7 million with signing bonuses of $130,000 or less.

Bulldogs to watch in 2022 NFL Draft

Along with Walker, there are a number of other Bulldogs to watch for as their names are called in the 2022 NFL Draft.

That includes four other stars from the Bulldogs’ 2021 and 2022 dominant defense who are projected by a number of leading mock drafts to be Round 1 selections.

It’s a most exciting time for these young men as they realize their dreams of playing in the NFL.

Here are other Bulldogs and the round they are projected to get selected in.

  • Travon Walker, Defensive Line – Top of Round 1
  • Jordan Davis, Defensive Tackle – Round 1
  • Nakobe Dean, Linebacker – Round 1
  • Devonte Wyatt, Defensive Tackle – Round 1
  • Lewis Cine, Safety – Round 1-2
  • Quay Walker, Linebacker – Round 1-2
  • George Pickens, Wide Receiver – Round 2
  • Channing Tindall, Linebacker – Round 3
  • James Cook, Running Back – Round 3-4
  • Justin Shaffer, Offensive Guard – Round 4
  • Jamaree Salyer, Offensive Guard – Round 4-5
  • Zamir White, Running Back – Round 4-5
  • Derion Kendrick, Cornerback – Round 6-7

Atlanta Falcons 2022 Draft picks

As is the case with the Draft, fans will either love or hate what Atlanta does with its picks. Will this year’s crop fall on the good side of Falcons Draft trivia or go the other direction?

In total, Atlanta has nine picks in this year’s Draft.

The first player drafted by the Falcons at No. 8 will earn a contract worth approximately $23.6 million and a signing bonus of $14.4 million. That player’s salary will count $4.3 million against the 2022 salary cap.

Round 1: No. 8 

Round 2: No. 43 

Round 2: No 58 (from TEN) 

Round 3: No. 74 

Round 3: No. 82 (from IND) 

Round 4: No. 114 

Round 5: No. 151 

Round 6: No. 190 

Round 6: No. 213 

Should Walker be taken by the Jaguars No. 1 overall, you can follow Jacksonville’s picks and see who Walker’s rookie teammates will be as the Jaguars have extra picks this year including two in Round 3 and four in Round 6.

The Jaguars have picks No. 1, 33, 65, 70, 106, 157, 180, 188, 197, 198, 222 and 235.

Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

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FairwayJay is a leading national sports and betting analyst. He reports, researches and writes on industry news and events providing insight and information you can bet on to engage and assist the avid fan. FairwayJay's tee-to-green coverage and contributions are provided throughout the PlayUSA network. Follow on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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