Wake Up! IDP Sleepers to Watch for 2022 – Mykal Walker
Falcons are amazing creatures. Peregrine falcons can get up to 20,000 feet in the air and reach speeds of 200mph when diving for prey. Why does that to fantasy football it doesn’t. But we are discussing a Falcon today! This Falcon is not quite as amazing as the Peregrine kind, but I believe that this 2022 IDP Sleeper will be doing some great stuff on the field this year. And that brings us to Mykal Walker, linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons.
Wake Up! IDP Sleepers to Watch for 2022 – Mykal Walker: College and Early NFL
Mykal was not rated as a prospect as part of the 2015 recruiting class. I could not find any Division 1 colleges he was recruited to, and he ended up enrolling at Azusa Pacific University. After two years there he transferred to Fresno State. He ended up playing for two years, 2018 and 2019, while there. In those two years at Fresno State, he played in 26 games and had 182 tackles (94 solo), 22.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 10 PD, 3 forced fumbles, 3 recovered fumbles, and 1 interception.
A 4th-round pick (119th overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft, Mykal has gotten on the field for every game his first two years. He had a 35.58% defensive snap share in 2020, and 16.50% in 2021. He had fewer starts in 2021, and fewer tackles as a result, but showed more of a knack for big plays. He had 1 PD and 1 forced fumble in 2020, but in 2021 he has 1 interception (that went for a touchdown), 4 PD, and 1 fumble recovery.
Wake Up! IDP Sleepers to Watch for 2022 – Mykal Walker: Looking Towards 2022
Deion Jones and Foye Oluokun led the linebackers each of the past two years, but Foye is gone to the Jaguars and there is a large hole to fill in his absence. Speaking of Deion Jones, he is a free agent after 2023 with a team out of only a $5 million dead cap hit after 2022. I am not saying they will cut or trade him, he is still a younger, high-performing linebacker, but we have seen rebuilding teams do weird things every year; they may just decide to spend money elsewhere and go with their cheaper kinebacking options.
Mykal’s main competition to start going forward appears to be rookie Troy Anderson (2nd round in 2022) and Rashaan Evans (one-year, $1.75 million). Anderson is raw and while I like him a lot, he will need time to adjust to the NFL. I see Evans more as depth with what we saw him from in Tennessee and his price for signing.
Mykal (25 this season) graded out well both years he has played so far and I think he ends up starting this year. He has good size (6’3″, 215 lbs) and even PFF has him pegged for a breakout year in 2022. The Falcons have shown they can support two fantasy-relevant linebackers in a season, and I expect them to be on defense a lot this year with their rebuilding offense. Walker has been knocking on the door but I think he will make his name known this year.
Thank you for reading Wake Up! IDP Sleepers to Watch for 2022 – Mykal Walker
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