While Rashaad Penny was one of the best running backs in the NFL and fantasy football down the stretch last season, Pete Carroll and John Schneider want to attack defenses with more than one standout runner.
Plus, they have not been able to depend on Penny or Chris Carson to stay healthy, so Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III gives them additional insurance at the top of the depth chart.
This is not the pick that fantasy players wanted to see, however, as it curtails the upside for both Walker and Penny unless one of them gets injured. Carroll had ideally envisioned Carson and Penny as a dazzling duo, but may now look to employ his desired RB combo with Walker and Penny.
Kenneth Walker III NFL Draft Outlook
Walker is an explosive runner and may be the best pure ball carrier in this year’s draft class. He has good patience and vision to break tackles, and he is also an outstanding runner in short space who can shake defenders with electric cutback moves and jukes.
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If Walker gets behind the second level of defenders, he can take off for sizable gains. He does not figure to be much of a pass-catcher out of the backfield, however, and pass protection also appears to be an issue for him.
Carroll wants to revamp the Seattle offense around a strong running game again, so he’ll view having Walker and Penny as a luxury. He can use both runners to wear defenses down and keep each other fresh.
If one gets injured, the other can operate as a feature back.Accordingly, the drafting of Walker could also signal the end of Carson’s tenure in Seattle.
Kenneth Walker III Fantasy Football Outlook
A healthy Penny could be the lead RB for Seattle in 2022, as pass protection concerns could lead to Walker playing the smaller role in a timeshare. But Penny’s injury history could also mean that Walker steps forward to be a featured back at any time.
Penny was thought to have RB1 upside before Walker was drafted. Now we have to view him more as a lower-end fantasy RB2. Walker can be drafted as a RB3, but if fantasy leaguers draft both they’ll have a stranglehold on the Seahawks’ backfield.
Being on a one-year deal means Penny could still be out of the picture for Seattle by next season and Walker could be the top RB, so consider that potential outlook in dynasty leagues.
Kenneth Walker III Scouting Report
- Great blend of patience and vision
- Supreme cutback runner with pretty moves in short space
- Can sense a potential big play and bust loose for big gains
- Strong ball security
- Pass-blocking issues might limit his playing time early on
- Not much of a pass-catcher out of the backfield