The XFL season didn’t last long but it lasted long enough for quarterback PJ Walker to make an impression. Take a gander at his highlights from just five games as a Houston Roughneck.
What stands out to me on top of the pocket awareness and agility is the accuracy when throwing on the run. His game reminds me of a certain Super Bowl winning quarterback that plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. The draft gurus saw it when coming out of Temple:
While at Temple, Walker flashed both tremendous athleticism, as well as the ability to make off-platform throws from anywhere on the field, and from any arm angle.
So if your initial thought was Walker is only here because he played under Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule at Temple, you would only be partially right. In five short weeks, Walker showed he was a star, albeit in the professional B-league XFL.
I also understand that he’s not a rookie, he’s been in the league for a couple seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. I can’t explain why he bounced on and off their practice squad but when given the chance he made some plays.
After Temple, before the XFL: PJ Walker spent time with the Colts. Solid throw up the seam in this 2018 preseason tilt. pic.twitter.com/MK7qBLnvUj— John Ellis (@OnePantherPlace) March 23, 2020
Walker is obviously going to get a lot of work in the preseason. Traditionally the preseason tends to be less methodical and more ‘improvisational’ shall we say. That appears to mesh with PJ Walker’s game. He’s shown these flashes of bug play ability at every level he has played.
Will his game transfer to the NFL? He seems to have the potential to be a sound back-up similar to what Teddy Bridgewater was to Drew Brees before coming to Carolina. Walker is a younger Bridgewater but more of a runner. But as I mentioned earlier Walker is accurate on the run and has an NFL arm.
I can see the NFL taking a lot of precautions with starting quarterbacks this preseason, even more than in preseason’s past. That means the Panthers back-ups PJ Walker and Will Grier will get a lot of playing time. I think we will find more excitement when Walker is on the field.