Why Kenneth Walker III Is a Great Draft Pick for the Seattle Seahawks
Though the Seattle Seahawks were rumored to draft a quarterback with the 40th or 41st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, they went with Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive end Boye Mofe and then Michigan State Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III.
Walker had two decent seasons at Wake Forest in a part-time role before transferring to Michigan State for his junior season. He broke out in a big way with the Spartans in 2021, rushing for 1,636 yards and 16 scores. His 50.2% college dominator rating checks in as a 99th-percentile clip, according to PlayerProfiler, and his 4.38 40-yard dash falls in the 98th percentile. On the negative, Walker made just 13 catches in 2021, but that doesn't necessarily mean he can't have success on passing downs in the pros.
How does Walker fit in with the Seahawks?
numberFire's Brandon Gdula breaks down Walker's profile and gives a top comparison.
"The most similar profile to Walker's is Lamar Miller."@gdula13 believes Kenneth Walker has a path to produce for the Seahawks, but doesn't see him as a 3-down feature back #GoHawks | #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/ERN6mpA0Xt
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) April 29, 2022
Gdula's draft database has found these 10 prior prospects to have the most similar statistical profiles to Walker’s. Keep in mind that these are based not on play style or traits but age, athleticism, draft equity, experience, efficiency, and production.
|Rank||Kenneth Walker III Profile Comparisons||Similarity|
Gdula's Take: Walker has a polarizing profile: the rushing workload doesn't get much better, and the receiving workload doesn't get much worse. It's potentially true that Wake Forest and Michigan State just didn't use backs as receivers, but it's also true that running back prospects without good receiving profiles tend to struggle. That explains the up-and-down comps.
Kenneth Walker's 2022 Fantasy Football Projection
Gdula’s initial projections for Walker include 149 carries for 658 yards and 6.2 rushing touchdowns with 20 catches for 146 yards and 0.8 receiving scores, making him the RB35 for the season while playing in a committee.
Projecting Walker has a lot to do with assuming Chris Carson's neck injury will allow him to return and while assuming the team will still lean on Rashaad Penny after his breakout in 2021.
On NFL odds, the Seahawks are listed at +10000 to win the Super Bowl and +1100 to win the NFC West. They have a win total projection of 5.5 at NFL odds, as well.