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Five Things: Anthony Walker Jr.

The Dolphins continued bolstering the linebacker room by bringing South Florida native Anthony Walker Jr. back home.

Walker brings the Dolphins a hard-nosed mentality with superb football I.Q. and a good communication skills in the middle of the defense.

Here are five things to know about the newest Miami Dolphins linebacker.

1. Enforcer in the Middle

From his first career game in Indianapolis, Walker showed the same mettle that made him a star at Northwestern. Listed at 235 pounds, a first glance at his tape would mislead one into thinking he's much heavier. His game is downhill physicality as he deconstructs blocks and creates collisions with ball carriers.

With more than 500 career tackles (26 for a loss), the new Dolphins linebacker plays with urgency and hits gaps in the run game with a ferocity that will make the fans at Hard Rock Stadium erupt. On 1,500 career snaps against the run, Walker has amassed 211 stops, a tackle defined as a win for the defense. It is one of the best run stop rates since he entered the NFL in 2017.

Sprinkle in three career interceptions and 4.5 sacks and Walker is no stranger to the splash play.

2. Captain and Signal Caller

Earning captaincy in any locker room is a badge of honor for a football player. Walker arrived in Cleveland in 2021 and by 2022, he was recognized by his teammates as one of the leaders of the team.

Along with his captaincy, Walker also wore the green dot – a sticker on the back of a defender's helmet that indicates radio communication with the sideline – for the Browns Walker's cerebral approach to the game and understanding of all 11 jobs on any given play helped elevate him to this critical role in the middle of one of the NFL's best defenses. Only one defense since 2014 held opponents to a lower yards per play (4.6) total than Cleveland in 2023.

3. Deliberate Intention

Dolphins fans have probably heard the term "deliberate intention" in press conferences and interviews over the past two years. It's a mantra of Head Coach Mike McDaniel. That mantra is shared by the new man in the middle of the Miami defense.

"Being myself every day. Being the same guy every day," Walker said of his approach to helping make the Miami defense better. "I'm intentional about my work, intentional about the details. And I'll just do that every day (and hope) that feeds off on others."

As we learned on his appearance on the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield, Walker is a massive student of the game.

4. Monsignor Edward Pace High Wall of Fame

Three miles south of Hard Rock Stadium is where Walker played under the Friday night lights. He's one of seven Pace grades to have their jersey retired and earn a place on the Wall of Fame. Among the seven retired jerseys are former Dolphins Kayvon Webster and former University of Miami Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris.

5. Ed Block Courage Winner

Walker embodies what it means to be a great teammate both in football and in his community, no matter how long he's been there. He was selected as the Browns recipient of the Ed Block Courage award – presented annually to a player who exemplifies courage, compassion and commitment – in just his second season in Cleveland. In addition to his commitment to coming back from a season-ending injury, Walker Jr. also shined in the Cleveland community.

This photo was taken at the Turkey Bowl Classic in 2023 –  a flag football game for kids and their families form Stay in the Game – a program dedicated to keeping children in school.

For more analysis on Anthony Walker Jr. and the rest of the 2024 free agent class, download the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield.