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Quandre Diggs: Tracy Walker has ‘the total package’ to succeed

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Quandre Diggs is a pretty good hype man.

NFL: Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Quandre Diggs may be taking on a bigger leadership role in 2019 after the Detroit Lions decided to move on from Glover Quin, but someone is going to have to replace his impact on the field, as well.

The leading candidate after free agency and the draft is second-year safety Tracy Walker. That’s certainly how things were trending toward the end of last year:

And it wasn’t just playing time that is working in Walker’s favor, it was his performance. Though he didn’t have enough snaps to qualify for Pro Football Focus’ official rankings among safeties, his overall grade of 89.8 would’ve been good enough for second in the entire NFL, and it was the highest grade for a rookie safety since 2006:

Perhaps most importantly of all, however, is the support of his teammates. Diggs, who will likely be playing aside him in 2019, thinks Walker’s versatility and hunger for improvement makes him the “total package.”

“You can just see the progress each and every week,” Diggs said on Tuesday. “Guy that wants to learn every day, loves to be around myself, loves to be around guys like Tavon (Wilson). Just tries to learn the ins and outs of being an NFL player. You can see the range, you can see how physical he is, you can see the coverability. You can see all of that, and I think he’s got the total package to be a good player.”

Walker doesn’t have a defined role with the team, necessarily, but that may not be a problem. Head coach Matt Patricia has been known to move players around all different parts of the secondary, and Walker was up to that task last year, taking snaps at the free safety position, box safety, and nickel corner, amongst others.

That may be a lot to ask of a young safety, but with the right support system and a hunger to learn, 2019 could be a breakout year for Walker.