Why Seahawks rookie RB Ken Walker reminds Michael Robinson of LaDainian Tomlinson

Aug 11, 2022, 1:11 PM

Seahawks Kenneth Walker III...

Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III looks for yards against Michigan in an Oct. 30, 2021 game. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

It’s unclear what the Seahawks will do at quarterback this season, but it is clear that Seattle will lean on a run game that features some pretty talented running backs.

How Seahawks’ playbook will differ for new QBs from Russell Wilson

The Seahawks enter the 2022 season with Rashaad Penny, who was the league’s best back over the final five weeks of the season, atop the depth chart with rookie Ken Walker III, one of two second-round picks Seattle made in April, also ready to get touches.

Former Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson, an NFL Network analyst who will be calling Seattle’s preseason opener on Saturday, joined The Mike Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM Thursday morning and shared his insight into Penny and Walker.

Robinson told Salk he’s a big fan of Penny’s size-speed combination.

“Oh man, I love it. I got to kind of talk to him last week as well,” Robinson said. “Rashaad man, he had a big end of the year last year and I thought it was not only good for the team and good for the offense and good for whoever was playing quarterback …  but it was also good for Rashaad’s confidence.”

Penny, the Seahawks’ first-round pick in 2018, has flashed at times in his career but has been on the sidelines a lot due to injury. But over the final five weeks of the season, Penny rushed for 671 yards and six touchdowns and have at least 135 yards in four of those contests. It was far and away the best stretch of Penny’s NFL career.

“Running backs, they need the confidence, they need the ability to go in there and know that they can have 30 carries and run for 200 yards and all those things,” Robinson said. “And he did a good job … If he can stay healthy — that’s been his big deal, saying healthy … I think he could be the lead dog for this team.”

All that being said, Robinson is a big fan of Walker and what he can do out of the backfield.

“My favorite running back in this past year’s draft was Ken Walker III,” Robinson said. “I mean, I love this kid.”

Robinson was a big fan of Walker’s not just at Michigan State last year, but when the running back was at Wake Forest in an offense Robinson felt didn’t suit his play style. And that didn’t stop Walker from scoring 13 touchdowns in his final season at Wake Forest before transferring to Michigan State.

“The kid has a nose for the goal line,” Robinson said.

In some ways, Walker reminds Robinson of a Hall of Fame running back.

“I don’t like to throw Hall of Fame names out there like that, but on tape, just watching him in college with the second-level speed, he looks LaDainian Tomlinson-ish,” Robinson said. “I’m not saying he’s L.T, OK? But he just looked LaDainian Tomlinson-ish with the slashing … I think Kenneth Walker is gonna have a big year. And you put him with Rashaad Penny, I mean, this offense with this offensive line (that has) some young guys on this offensive line, I think they’re gonna move some people around.”

Listen to the full fourth hour of Thursday’s Mike Salk Show at this link or in the player below.

Seahawks Practice Snapshot: Good day for QB Drew Lock and offense

Brock and Salk podcast

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Kenny McIntosh...

Brent Stecker

Seahawks’ 7th-round RB Kenny McIntosh could have big role

Seattle Sports' Brock Huard breaks down what Seattle Seahawks seventh-round pick Kenny McIntosh offers that their other running backs don't.

1 day ago

Seattle Seahawks draft Anthony Bradford...

Brandon Gustafson

Huard: How rookie Seahawks guard Anthony Bradford must improve

Former NFL QB Brock Huard shared where he thinks Seattle Seahawks rookie guard Anthony Bradford needs to improve upon joining the NFL.

2 days ago

Seattle Seahawks draft...

Brandon Gustafson

Huard: 3 focuses for Seahawks rookie Derick Hall to develop

Brock Huard shared where he thinks Seattle Seahawks second-round pick Derick Hall has room to grow as he comes to the NFL from Auburn.

3 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Jarran Reed...

Brandon Gustafson

Jarran Reed talks Seahawks return, rookie DL and much more

Seattle Seahawks DT Jarran Reed discussed returning to the Hawks, two of the team's rookies and much more with Mike Salk on Friday.

4 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Jaxon Smith-Njigba...

Brandon Gustafson

Huard: Where Seahawks WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba has room to grow

There are three places where Brock Huard wants to se Seattle Seahawks first-round WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba to grow as he enters the NFL.

4 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Tyler Lockett...

Stacy Rost

2 areas the Seahawks can take the biggest step forward in 2023

During Thursday's Bump & Stacy, the duo shared two areas where they think the Seattle Seahawks can take a step forward in 2023.

4 days ago

Why Seahawks rookie RB Ken Walker reminds Michael Robinson of LaDainian Tomlinson