Seahawks bolster RB depth with Kenneth Walker III at No. 41
The third pick for the Seahawks in the 2022 NFL Draft speaks to head coach Pete Carroll’s desire to return to a more run-oriented offense.
Draft Reaction: Seahawks insiders break down each of the Day 2 picks
In the second of back-to-back picks in the second round Friday, the Seahawks drafted Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III at No. 41 overall.
Walker won the Doak Walker Award in 2021, which recognizes the best running back in college football, after rushing for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns on 263 attempts (6.2 yards per carry).
Walker was second in the nation in rushing yards and tied for eighth in rushing TDs.
The Doak Walker Award winner, Kenneth Walker III, is headed to Seattle❗️ pic.twitter.com/VZXf3e8iuC
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 29, 2022
The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Tennessee native played two seasons at Wake Forest before transferring to Michigan State for his junior season. He rushed for 579 yards in each of his two years with the Demon Deacons.
Walker is somebody that Brock Huard, a FOX Sports college football analyst and host of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk Podcast, had identified as a potential fit for the Seahawks, whose two main running backs, Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson, have extensive injury history.
“Just flat-out the most impactful, like, ‘Wow, this guy totally changes the temperature of the buildings, the stadiums, the campuses, the games and ultimately the production,’ it would be Kenneth Walker and (Iowa State running back) Breece Hall,” Huard said to Mike Salk on Seattle Sports Station earlier this month. “Those two guys remind me to a degree of Jonathan Taylor at Wisconsin, who I saw in college and I’m like ‘This guy’s great.’”
Hall landed with the New York Jets five spots ahead of Walker going to Seattle.
“Breece Hall is elite, Kenneth Walker is elite. Those guys in the next few years are going to do what Jonathan Taylor has done,” Huard continued. “They will run over people, run through people and run around people. If they are sitting there still (when the Seahawks have back-to-back picks at) 40 or 41… color me as one that would be thrilled if that move were to happen.”
Prior to the Walker selection, the Seahawks took defensive end Boye Mafe of Minnesota at No. 40.
The Seahawks’ next scheduled pick is No. 72 overall in the third round Friday night.
More Seahawks draft selections
• Seattle selects Mississippi State OT Charles Cross at No. 9 overall
• Hawks add Minnesota DE Boye Mafe with 40th pick
• Seahawks take standout WSU OT Abraham Lucas in third round
• Seahawks add to secondary in fourth with Cincy CB Coby Bryant
• Seattle nabs long, speedy UTSA CB Tariq Woolen in fifth round
• Hawks pick Ohio State edge rusher Tyreke Smith in fifth
• Hawks end draft with 2 WRs in Rutgers’ Melton, Lenoir-Rhyne’s Young