Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis gave a ringing endorsement to Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker.
There might be some out there who doubt what Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker has left in the tank as he approaches the age of 35 and comes off a serious injury, but former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis isn’t one of them.
Willis was a teammate of Walker’s when the two both played for San Fran, so he knows firsthand just how good Walker is. In fact, they shared many battles in practice while on the same team.
So, should people be worried about Walker in 2019?
Willis doesn’t think so, as he told Jim Wyatt of Titans Online on the night he was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
“He’s going to go out there and do his thing,” Willis said of Walker. “Delanie, that’s one person that if I had to put a lot of chips on, I’d bet on him every time. There’s something in him that makes him an amazing athlete, and he’s a great person as well. I have no doubt that he’s going to come back and be better than ever.”
Walker spent his first seven seasons in the NFL with the 49ers and was drafted one year before Willis. While Walker was a solid tight end with the 49ers, he became elite at his position after joining the Titans.
Some might be underestimating Walker after missing just about all of last year, but let’s not forget that he totaled 800 receiving yards or more—including 1,088 yards in 2015—in each of the last four years prior to 2018. And he was off to a great start in Week 1 last season before going down to injury.
Losing Walker’s special ability as a pass-catcher no doubt hurt quarterback Marcus Mariota. Having his favorite target this season should be a huge boost for the 25-year-old, and for the Titans offense as a whole.
Experts in the fantasy football community have speculated that Walker could go undrafted this year, however that would be a mistake. At a position as shallow as tight end, Walker is on the fringe of the best three tight ends (Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce and George Kittle) at worst.
Anyone who thinks Walker is on the downside of his career might be in for a rude awakening come September 8th. A player with the track record of Walker deserves more respect and he’ll prove that in due time.