clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2022 NFL Draft: Scouting Michigan State running back, Kenneth Walker III

Could Walker make sense for the Broncos?

Michigan State v Ohio State Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

One prospect who may interest the Denver Broncos on day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft is Michigan State running back, Kenneth Walker III. He’s a 5’9”, 211lb running back who is considered one of the top backs in the entire draft. The Draft Network has Walker ranked as their second-best running back in the draft and their 41st overall prospect in the entire 2022 NFL Draft.

Walker played two seasons at Wake Forrest before transferring to Michigan State and having a breakout season for the Spartans. In three seasons in college, Walker totaled 480 carries for 2,794 yards and 35 touchdowns. He also had 19 receptions for 136 yards and 1 touchdown as well. This past season, Walker totaled 263 carries for 1,636 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. All of which were career highs. Also, he had 13 receptions for 89 yards and 1 touchdown which were also all career highs as well.

Player Profile

Kenneth Walker - Running Back - Junior - Michigan State

Height: 5’9” | Weight: 211 pounds | 40-time: 4.38 seconds

Vertical Jump: 34 inches | Broad Jump: 122 inches

Film Room

Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Arguably the best running back in the draft according to some
  • Has the size and build you look for in an NFL running back
  • Explosive athlete who can make people miss and hit the home run
  • Has good vision
  • A powerful runner who runs angry
  • His yards after contact is impressive and likely translate to the next level
  • I like how explosive he is when hitting the hole
  • He has great contact balance and is able to absorb hits and continue on
  • Has no real ball security concerns
  • Limited tread on the tires with only one full season of bellcow work under his belt
  • Was underutilized as a pass catcher and should be used in that role more in the NFL
  • A plug and play NFL player who should contribute big things right away
  • Would be a wonderful fit in a zone-blocking offense

Weaknesses

  • Likely a top 50 pick and would require a trade up for the Broncos to select him
  • Needs to improve as a pass blocker and may not be a three-down back early on because of that
  • Has good vision but sometimes hesitates before hitting the hole
  • Sometimes dances in the backfield too much which won’t work in the NFL
  • One-year wonder but not a huge concern there

Kenneth Walker RAS

Final Thoughts

I don’t see how Kenneth Walker III falls to pick 64, however, if he does, he would give the Broncos one of the better one-two punches in the backfield in the NFL.

Javonte Williams already looks like a legit running back, but with 17 games on the schedule, you need two starter level backs at least on the roster to make it through the season. Plus, unfortunately, injuries do happen and the Broncos do lack depth behind Williams as well with Melvin Gordon likely going elsewhere via free agency. So, adding someone like Walker would be ideal for the Broncos.

I know people do not care for taking backs early, and there is some good day three options that could contribute as well. However, getting another instant impact player in an offense already featuring a strong passing game with Russell Wilson would be a pretty good get.

There are other needs the Broncos can address at 64 but do not sleep on running back being selected early again this year. It may not be in the second round, but I have a hard time seeing them not coming out of the fourth round without a back