Keep in mind early on that Leonard was out 3 games, and Walker moved over to WILL. So not only did he play 3 games out of position, he also played 100%ish of snaps and passing downs (which he does not normally do). When he's playing MIKE, and on downs he typically plays, our scheme doesn't put much on him from a coverage perspective.
You always need to take PFF grades with a grain of salt as they really don't take scheme variance into account, and LBs especially are hard to grade outside of Ts. They rated Devin Bush really low for most of the year, especially when they were dealing with injury and played him on downs they normally wouldn't. He ended up low 60s IIRC as things settled down towards late season.
ILB is one of the more devalued positions in both the draft and FA, so he's not going to get a "pile" of money regardless... especially being only a 2 down LBer. But honestly that's not really a bad thing (him being a 2 down LBer). A lot of teams do the same thing (use a rotation).
Purely my opinion, but I think the situation is good for us. We don't use SAM a lot, so having a SAM (Oke) that can also play passing downs at MIKE, while having a good run stopping 2 down MIKE like Walker, is efficient and effective use of $ of personnel.
Since we moved Oke to SAM, it likely means Franklin (did't play a single snap on D) will not be back. That means either they give Speed a shot at MIKE depth, or look to FA or the draft (later rounds). Walker will never be great at coverage, just like Oke will likely never be great in the middle vs the run. They can be effective in a rotation though. In short though, LB is literally the last on my list of needs this year.
Maybe they don’t cut Stafford. Draft someone and they sit a year. I mean they could take TUA or Love and sit them a year. I agree though it’s probably just to scare teams that they might take the QB they want. Lions would be smart to move down. They could probably still get the player they want at 13. I mean would the OSU corner go from 4th to 12th is they traded with us.
I also don’t think the raiders are taking a QB at 12. Mayok said DT is top priority and they have a good QB. So there is no reason for them to take a QB over a guy like Kinlaw. I do think Herbert or Love will be there at 13 if TUA medicals are ok and he can throw before the draft. I don’t think the panthers take a QB this draft.