D’Andre Walker, Georgia
If the Houston Texans don’t want to attempt to replace Clowney in the first round and they opt for a more pressing need like offensive line, they could look to use one of their three day two picks to do so. If this is the case, D’Andre Walker out of Georgia should be the target.
After the Dawgs needed to replace Lorenzo Carter on their defense, they turned to Walker. Walker doesn’t have the size Carter has or that has become prototypical for edge defenders but that didn’t stop him from becoming a top tier pass rusher at Georgia.
Walker was a four-year contributor at Georgia but he didn’t become a full-time starter until his senior year. But, once he did, he became indispensable to their defense that was very good throughout the year. He was hurt in the SEC championship and that has pushed him down draft boards but he is still a great talent.
Walker’s best trait right now is his run defense, which is a big thing that Houston Texans will be missing if Clowney leaves. He has some work to do to reach his full potential as a pass rusher, especially with his initial stance and hand usage but he’s good enough already to be a situational guy.
Walker is an extremely versatile defender who could easily step in and impact the game in every way Clowney does and potentially more. Georgia asked him to do a lot from rushing the passer to dropping into coverage. He made Georgia’s defense better and you can see how much he meant to their defense by watching their play in the SEC championship before and after he got hurt. Let’s just say, Alabama’s comeback didn’t start until he was out.