The Seattle Seahawks started the 2022 NFL Draft off on Thursday night by sticking at pick number 9 overall and drafting potential franchise left tackle Charles Cross out of Mississippi State. That got fans who have longed for an improved offensive line excited, leading to very elevated levels of optimism for a Day 2 on which the Seahawks hold three picks, including picks 40 and 41 early in the second round.
The Hawks used the first of those two selections to add to their pass rush, picking up Boye Mafe out of Minnesota. It wasn’t a fan favorite, but as a pick that addressed a position of need, many fans were at least happy to have a potential pass rusher added to the roster.
Then came the second of the back-to-back picks for the Seahawks, with the team selected running back Kenneth Walker III out of Michigan State. Walker is a fine football player and a very good running back, but Seattle is set to see turnover at several spots from 2021, including losing starters at cornerback (D.J. Reed), middle linebacker (Bobby Wagner), defensive end (Kerry Hyder, Rasheem Green and Carlos Dunlap), three out of five spots on the offensive line (Duane Brown, Brandon Shell and Austin Blythe) and quarterback (Russell Wilson).
Thus, the addition of a running back in the second round was not high on the priority list for most fans, and several took to Twitter to “discuss” the selection. Before jumping into that, though, the selection of Walker does provide some clues about the position group heading into 2022, so here are some of the thoughts about the pick.
For starters, many have long held that the Seahawks would add a running back in the draft for very simple and easy to understand reasons.
Yes, the Seahawks took a RB in the draft.— John P Gilbert (@JohnPGilbertNFL) April 29, 2022
Because Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer are all free agents next offseason.
The only RB under contract for 2023 is DeeJay Dallas.
With that in mind, Corbin Smith of Seahawks Maven makes this observation that is hard to argue with.
Picking Walker does not sound like a good omen about Chris Carson's health.— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) April 29, 2022
It obviously doesn’t rule out Carson being around for 2022, but it certainly leads to some raised eyebrows. In any case, regardless of whether or not Carson returns, the reason the Seahawks added Walker is not hard to find with even just a little digging.
lol I forgot his 4.38s 40 yard dash.— Matty F. Brown (@mattyfbrown) April 29, 2022
To add to these impressive measurables, Walker was a tackle breaking machine playing in a zone-heavy scheme at Michigan State.
Per PFF, Kenneth Walker III had the most missed tackles forced during the 2021 season while playing in a zone heavy scheme (67.8% of attempts behind zone blocking).— John P Gilbert (@JohnPGilbertNFL) April 30, 2022
Getting back to the overreactions online, however, grab some popcorn to enjoy the show.
Absolutely hate what the Seahawks did at 40/41. Old pass rusher and then a RB. The upside just isn’t there for picks that high and they couldn’t find a trade back. Big time fail. Damn.— Brian Nemhauser (@hawkblogger) April 29, 2022
The Seahawks are so predictable. I get why they drafted a RB, I just deeply disagree with the decision. https://t.co/wSpCqwPDUi— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) April 29, 2022
Lmao the #Seahawks took a RB in the 2nd round.— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) April 29, 2022
Kenneth Walker was my favorite running back of the 2022 NFL Draft actually. Really good elusiveness. Solid power at times. Second gear explosiveness to burn defenses down the field. I love watching him play.
The Seahawks needed a QB, and they drafted a RB. It's Drew Lock time in Seattle. What could go wrong?— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) April 29, 2022
Seahawks have MASSIVE holes all over the roster — RB is NOT one of them. Corner, edge rush, QB all MASSIVE fucking issues.— Evan Hill (@EvanHillHB) April 29, 2022
Horrible, horrible pick.
The Seahawks traded away Russell Wilson, then drafted a RB instead of Malik Willis in the 2nd round.— Luke Easterling (@LukeEasterling) April 29, 2022
Still trying to process it. We really took a 2nd round RB. #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/r7MaHYvjdX— Sam Brunson (@Sam_Brunson) April 30, 2022
The Seahawks taking a RB at 41 with their second pick is the most Seahawks thing ever— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) April 29, 2022
The Seahawks selecting RB confirms a ton.— Dr. Kevin Murray (@DrKJMurray) April 30, 2022
For those counting on a miraculous return from Carson. You shouldn’t.
The move also leaves no doubt why they let Russ go. They value RUN over PASS more than any NFL team. There’s no diversion from the philosophy. It’s truly remarkable.
The Seahawks going RB over QB says A LOT about Malik Willis, Howell, Ridder, etc.— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) April 29, 2022
Then again, Seattle’s last few drafts have been weak
Seahawks fans seeing them take another RB in the second round:pic.twitter.com/2PtimRpfo0— theScore Bet (@theScoreBet) April 29, 2022
Was it ever really in doubt that Pete would value a RB over a QB? #Seahawks— Josh Liskiewitz (@PFF_Josh) April 29, 2022
The Seahawks opt to take RB2––not QB2––by selecting Michigan St RB Kenneth Walker III with the 41st overall pick.— The Draft Network (@TheDraftNetwork) April 29, 2022
Our scouting team, and especially @Brentley12, did not like that decision #FrontOffice33 | #NFLDraft | #GoHawks pic.twitter.com/L8GstiwDlC
Seahawks weren't happy about taking predictable guys with their 1st 2 picks so they went off the board with a RB!— Kevin Shockey (@KevinShockey) April 29, 2022
Trading a star QB to start a rebuild and then drafting a RB in the second round is probably the most Seahawks thing of all time. Bravo.— Paul DFF (@fantasyfreezer) April 29, 2022
Seahawks pass on a QB for a RB Hahaha— Trang (@traaang) April 29, 2022
Drew Lock smiling.
#Seahawks pic.twitter.com/zJ6coYsHpH— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) April 29, 2022
Alright so I was about 30 or so picks off…. https://t.co/RW3mXXs31p— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) April 30, 2022
I like Kenneth Walker too man, he's really that dude but the positional value is just not worth it man— Vountee @ War Room (@vountee) April 29, 2022
I love Kenneth Walker but I need the Seahawks or God or possibly Batman to stop the Seahawks from themselves at some point.— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) April 29, 2022
YES!!!— Brock Huard (@BrockHuard) April 29, 2022
Kenneth Walker is my Russell Wilson & Tyler Lockett over the last decade. Just simply one of my favorite players in all of college football.
Look MSU Coach Mel Tucker in the eyes, as I did a few times, & ask him about Walker & you’ll know why SEA made this pick
Big fan of those two picks for the #Seahawks. Boye Mafe has everything needed to be a big-time pass rusher. Kenneth Walker carried MSU and was one of the best players in CFB last year. They added value here. Great pair of picks.— Rob Staton (@robstaton) April 29, 2022
Guys I don't like the process but I like Kenneth Walker III and think he could be better than healthy Carson ever was if not as good as Penny.— Mookie Alexander (@mookiealexander) April 30, 2022
So, whether one thinks the team did well with the selection of Walker, or whether one hates the pick as using a second round selection on a running back when there are plenty of other holes that need addressing on the Seattle roster, at the end of the day Walker is now a member of the Seahawks and it’s on to the third round.