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Kenneth Walker was very, very good in his rookie season

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

It’s funny how much people love to blast the Seattle Seahawks when it comes to the run game. How Pete Carroll sticks to it, how they overvalue the position, ha ha they drafted one in the second round, etc.

It’s also incredibly consistent, that immediately after the draft, the Seahawks weren’t even given credit for their new acquisition’s potential. Kenneth Walker III was conveniently left off a “top-five running rookies of 2022” list by CBS this summer.

However, Walker then came out on fire following Rashaad Penny’s injury, and the season he put forth holds up against some of the best of recent years.

Walker had 1050 yards and 4.6 yards per carry, with 9 TD. Check out some other top RBs in their rookie seasons:

Jonathan Taylor: 1169 yards, 5.0 ypc, 11 TD
Derrick Henry: 490 yards, 4.5 ypc, 5 TD
Nick Chubb: 966 yards, 5.2 ypc, 8 TD
Josh Jacobs: 1150 yards, 4.8 ypc, 7 TD

Two notes of extra interest when it comes to Walker’s season. First, his young propensity to make magic, Reggie Bush style, led to a huge number of negative plays against NFL talent. A year of growth in discernment may spike the yards per carry up a bit. Second, Walker only started 11 games. He sat behind Penny for four, and missed a game after an injury against the Rams limited him to three carries.

Walker’s got a ridiculously high ceiling. The only true question remaining, is what Seattle wants to do with the position. Rashaad Penny looms, along with all of his questions. The Cleveland Browns recently made a one-two tandem work successfully, but it’s still a rare feature in the NFL. Both Penny and Walker are feature-worthy when on their game, and it’s a valid question if somehow the Seahawks think they could lean on these two, in lieu of ever figuring anything out for a third receiver.

Regardless of what happens there, Walker will be here for many more years and is already one of the most exciting players to watch.