Where does Seahawks’ running back room rank in NFL?

May 29, 2024, 1:15 PM | Updated: 8:06 pm

Seattle Seahawks Kenneth Walker III Cleveland Browns 2023...

Kenneth Walker III of the Seattle Seahawks carries the ball against the Browns in 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have a young, talented running back tandem in Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet.

Walker, a 2022 second-round pick, has rushed for a combined 1,955 yards over his first two seasons. Charbonnet, a 2023 second-rounder, showed potential with a productive rookie campaign as the No. 2 back last year.

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Earlier this week, Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports placed every running back room in the NFL into seven tiers. He put the Seahawks in the third tier, which he termed the “up-and-comers.” Based on his tiers, Seattle’s running back room would rank anywhere between No. 10 and No. 16 in the league.

During Wednesday’s Blue 88 on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, former NFL quarterback Brock Huard gave his reaction to the Seahawks’ placement.

“Going into (the season), I think that’s probably fair,” Huard said. “Coming out of (the season), could they be a top-five running back room? Yeah, if those guys take significant steps in year two and three of their careers.”

Breaking down Seahawks’ top two RBs

Walker finished second in AP Offensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2022 after rushing for 1,050 yards, nine TDs and 4.6 yards per carry in 15 games. He topped the 100-yard rushing mark five times and ranked 12th in the NFL in rushing yards. He also had 27 catches for 165 yards.

Walker’s rushing stats took a slight dip last season while running behind an injury-depleted offensive line, but his receiving total had an uptick. He rushed for 905 yards, eight TDs and 4.1 yards per carry in 15 games, while adding 29 catches for 259 yards and one TD.

“If Ken Walker takes another step to go from good to great, he could be a 1,200-yard rusher in this league,” Huard said. “He’s shown you that, darn near close to it. He’s shown you he can put together 100-yard games. And given a lane, he can explode.”

The 214-pound Charbonnet, meanwhile, is a bruising runner who complements Walker’s acceleration and home-run ability. As the backup running back last season, Charbonnet rushed for 462 yards and one TD at a clip of 4.3 yards per carry. He also had 33 catches for 209 yards.

With a new coaching staff this season under first-year head coach Mike Macdonald, Huard thinks Charbonnet will have a chance to push Walker for more carries.

“Physically, man, he looks as impressive as anything,” Huard said. “And he’s gonna get a chance. He’s gonna have a whole new set of eyes, a whole new regime that doesn’t care about what Ken Walker did his rookie year. Like, it is a level playing field. Let’s go compete. You’re both second-round picks. … That is gonna be a level playing field that should bring out the best in those two talents.”

Listen to the full conversation from Brock and Salk in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

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Where does Seahawks’ running back room rank in NFL?