Travon Walker has strong NFL debut for Jaguars in preseason

CANTON, Ohio – Former Georgia standout Travon Walker, who was the No. 1 player selected in this year’s NFL draft, had a strong debut for Jacksonville in a 27-11 loss to Las Vegas in an exhibition game Thursday night at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

On his first play from scrimmage in the NFL, Walker beat Las Vegas left tackle Brandon Parker and put a hit on quarterback Jarrett Stidham. However, he was called for roughing the passer.

Walker, in limited action, had a tackle, a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit from his outside linebacker spot.

“It was definitely an exciting feeling,” Walker said. “It was my first (NFL sack), but I would say there are plenty more to come.”

The Jaguars were pleased with his debut.

“I thought he did well,” Jacksonville coach Doug Pederson said. “There was some good early pass rushes in there. He was very disruptive. He’s going to be fun to watch I think all season.”

Pederson thinks Walker will learn from the the roughing the passer call.

“I think there are timing issues on when you can hit quarterbacks, hitting quarterbacks and the way you can hit quarterbacks and all of this kind of stuff,” Pederson said. “It’s just going to come from watching it and learning from it. But that’s something that you never try to slow down his power and athleticism that way. He’ll learn from it and do better.”

Walker helped Georgia win the national championship last season and was the first of five players from the school selected in the first round of the draft.

“I thought he was good,” Pederson said. “I really think I saw or felt, you could see his length, his athleticism, his power. He’s is going to be a good player.”

Walker and Jaguars will play the Falcons on Aug. 27 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Jags are scheduled to have joint practices with the Falcons on Aug. 24 and 25.

“I think they are good, impactful,” Pederson said of joint practices. “I think they can really help the team. Your starters can get really good work for a couple of days before we play that game.”

The practices will be before the final exhibition game for both teams.

“It will be about the right time in camp,” Pederson said. “Where we get a break from Jacksonville and head over to Atlanta and spend a couple of days there.”

Former Georgia Tech standout Nathan Cottrell had a strong game for the Jaguars. He rushed three times for 13 yards and caught four passes for 35 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown.

Former Georgia running back Zamir White rushed 11 times for 52 yards (4.7 per carry) for the Raiders.

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