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Jaguars' Armstead: Former No. 1 pick Walker can be NFL's best edge rusher

Mike Carlson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Arik Armstead knows about playing with talented edge rushers, and the new Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman is excited about what he's seen from Travon Walker so far this offseason.

"He had a tremendous year last year, and I know he's gonna have a tremendous year this year," Armstead said, according to Juston Lewis of the Florida Times-Union.

"I think Travon can be the best edge in the league. He has that ability. ... I think he will be," Armstead added.

Walker entered the NFL as the first overall pick in 2022. After a relatively quiet rookie season with 3.5 sacks, the pass-rusher finished last year with 10 sacks. He only had five sacks in the campaign's first 13 games but posted five in his final four appearances.

Armstead is entering his first season with the Jaguars after playing nine years with the San Francisco 49ers, who released him this offseason. In San Francisco, the 30-year-old shared the field with Nick Bosa, a former No. 2 pick who was named 2022 Defensive Player of the Year and has recorded 44.5 sacks in his last 50 games.

Armstead has battled several injuries since being drafted in the first round in 2015 but had a double-digit sack season in 2019. He was a cornerstone of the 49ers' defense for years.

"(I'm) just trying to help him in any way I can," Armstead said of Walker. "Give him some knowledge, showing him different things that I use and how I break down offensive linemen. Some techniques that I've used throughout the years that I think will be great for him, and even better because I don't have the skill set and athletic ability that he has."

Walker won 9.7% of his pass-rush snaps against blocking last season, the 80th-best mark in the league among eligible edge rushers, according to PFF. He recorded 52 tackles (10 for loss), 19 QB hits, and two pass breakups.

Armstead and Walker are members of a Jaguars defense led by two-time Pro Bowl pass-rusher Josh Allen, who set a team single-season record with 17.5 sacks in 2023.

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