Mark Walton – Miami
RB 5’10” 188 lbs
Injuries are a thorn in the side of evaluators, especially when it comes to a back as potentially explosive as Mark Walton. Walton’s 2017 came to an end in October when he underwent surgery to repair his right ankle.
A healthy Walton is a compact combination of electric speed and power. He has the ability to get his pad level low and run inside, but still has the burst to get the edge and outrun defenders. Walton’s jump-cut is devastating, and when he uses it in conjunction with finding an open hole, he can reel of chunk plays. The thing that sets Walton apart (and will probably be his quickest way to playing time) is his work in the passing game. Walton is an above average pass catcher, and any play that gets him in space opens up his big play ability. He is also a fairly adept pass blocker for his size and rarely fails to at least slow down a defender.
Size and injuries. Walton’s NFL future boils down to those two things. Coming in around 190 pounds does not bode well for Walton becoming a three-down back at the next level. Because of his lack of size, Walton tends to dance more than he should behind the line of scrimmage. This indecision shows up across Walton’s game tape, highlighting a lack of patience and holes in his vision. Walton’s ankle injuries are particularly concerning too for a man who relies on explosive cuts and acceleration to win.
Ideally, Mark Walton gets healthy and lands on a team that has an opening for a dynamic space back. The dream of him having sneaky three-down upside is fading, but landing alongside an early-down pounder like Derrick Henry or Jay Ajayi could be exactly what Walton needs to spark a relevant career.