2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kenneth Walker

  • Kenneth Walker, 5-9/210

  • Running Back

  • Michigan State

  • Kenneth Walker Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Physical, tough runner
  • Will run over defenders
  • Can pick up yards after contact
  • Superb ball security
  • Burst to the second level
  • Strong build
  • Body lean
  • Knee Band
  • Runs behind his pads
  • Contact balance
  • Keeps feet going after contact
  • Can create for himself
  • Decisive runner
  • Strong lower body
  • Starter bell-cow back ability

  • Weaknesses:
  • Will need work as a blitz protector
  • Receiving skills need development
  • Doesn’t play as fast as timed speed
  • More straight line
  • Not very elusive
  • Lacks a dominant trait

  • Summary: Walker started out his career at Wake Forest where he ran for 579 yards per season as a freshman and sophomore. He notched 13 touchdowns for the Demon Deacons in 2020, but he ended up transferring to Michigan State for the 2021 season. Spartans head coach Mel Tucker wisely built the offense around Walker, who ripped off a prolific year, averaging 6.2 yards per carry on his way to 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns. In the passing game, he also had 13 catches for 89 yards and a score – he only had six other receptions over his previous seasons.

    There is a lot to like about Walker for the next level, because he is a physical, violent runner who really imposes his will on defenses. Walker is a hard-charging runner with a strong build and will flat out run over tacklers. With excellent contact balance and strength, Walker is hard to get on the ground, as he will charge through tackle attempts to pick up a lot of extra yardage. To go along with the power to push through defenders, Walker has natural knee bend and body lean, he runs behind his pads with good leverage to keep himself on his feet. While Walker is a dangerous North-South runner, he does not have a ton of elusiveness and won’t be a back who jukes NFL defenders with ease.

    Walker has more ability for the passing game than was seen in a lot of college, but he did not get a lot of work in his offenses. His hands and route-running look to be average, but he has the upside to get better. Like all college backs, Walker also will need work for blitz protection in the NFL.

    Walker could be a sleeper who turns into a nice value pick from the 2022 NFL Draft. He could have an outside shot at being a second-round pick. While he might go in the third or fourth round, it would not be surprising if Walker ends up being better than his draft slot would suggest. Team sources say Walker is a well-rounded runner, is tough, and knows how to tote the ball, but they feel he lacks a dominant trait for the NFL. They feel he could be a really good starter in the right scheme provided there is talent around him.

    Player Comparison: Mark Ingram. In terms of running style, Walker reminds me of Ingram as a downhill violent runner who can pick up yards after contact. Walker is nearly identical in size to Ingram (5-9, 215), and I could see Walker being a solid pro for a long time similar to Ingram.


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