Kenneth Walker lll had a fantastic rookie season for the Seattle Seahawks in 2022. He led all rookies in rushing yards and was 11th amongst all running backs with 1,050 yards on the ground. He did have some struggles as there were three games where he had ten or more carries and averaged 2.83 YPC or fewer. But despite those struggles, his explosive home run hitting running style made him a true threat to opposing defenses. This was highlighted by the fact that he had three carries of 40 or more yards last season. Only seven teams—not players, teams— had more 40-yard carries than him. Down below we are going to look at those three totes and his next two longest rushes of the season.
74-yard run against the Los Angeles Chargers (at 1:34 mark of video)
Kenneth Walker had a big day on the ground for the Seahawks against the Chargers.— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) October 24, 2022
Put together a cut-up of some of Walker's best runs on the day. He's a ball of chaos but plays under control. With the contact balance and burst to take advantage of his vision. pic.twitter.com/3wa8uzsqgG
The alignment and personnel were king on this play. Seattle is lined up with three tight ends with their hand in the dirt pre-snap with Colby Parkinson coming in pre-snap motion to the field side where the ball is being run. He serves as the lead blocker on the wide zone toss play and he does a fantastic job in doing so. First, he brushes Kyle Van Noy who is being blocked by Will Dissly, who also deserves a ton of credit for pancaking the Chargers defender. After brushing Van Noy, Parkinson gets his head back up field and locates Asante Samuel Jr. and even though he doesn’t block him head on, he does enough by beating Samuel Jr. to the spot and forcing him to the outside. This in turn creates a lane for Walker lll to explode through en route to the 74-yard score.
69 yard run against the New Orleans Saints
O primeiro de muitos! Ken Walker TD!!! pic.twitter.com/tfJF3Ga1uW— Rapinas do Mar (Cortes) (@cortesrapinas) October 9, 2022
This play highlights Walker’s elite patience. Seattle is in 11 personnel with the ball designed to be run to the weak side, which is the side Seattle has just one non offensive lineman lined up. It’s a simple inside zone scheme with left guard Damien Lewis designed to take the second level defender, which he does. However, despite the slanting offensive linemen, New Orleans is able to generate enough internal push to blow up the designed gap. This in turn forces Walker lll to quickly identify a cutback lane, something he excels at, before turning it up field for the 69-yard score. The unsung hero of this play is Will Dissly who does a fantastic job sealing the backside against Cam Jordan.
60-yard run against the New York Jets
Ken Walker III's 60-yard run to open Sunday's game does not happen without excellent blocking by Colby Parkinson and Noah Fant. Tight ends continue to be a critical part of #Seahawks offensive success in a myriad of ways. pic.twitter.com/RoudIw89AY— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) January 3, 2023
This is such an impressive run on all accounts for K9. It looks like it’s a designed outside zone run to the right C or D gap with Tyler Lockett serving as the lead blocker. However, Jets left end No. 91 John Franklin-Myers blows it up by driving Abe Lucas into the backfield. Walker lll is able to change his direction at the handoff which results in a slight bobble, but he gets two hands on the ball. He navigates additional traffic caused by Quinnen Williams, changes through his gears, identifies the cut back lane and then hits it. As he is breaking down the field, he correctly gets the ball in his boundary arm and was just tripped up from behind preventing what would have been a touchdown.
34-yard run against the Arizona Cardinals
Grande jogada de Ken Walker aqui. Grande bloqueio de Noah Fant aqui. pic.twitter.com/sAYni7E15U— Rapinas do Mar (Cortes) (@cortesrapinas) October 16, 2022
This is a designed in-zone run out of shotgun, but Jalen Thompson recognizes the run and steps up which takes away the inside but results in a loss of edge contain. The former Michigan State running back recognizes it and uses an explosive jump cut to get to the outside. Geno Smith sees where the run is going and also gets up field which allows him to serve as a lead blocker. Geno misses the block on Budda Baker, but he does enough to get in his way forcing a missed tackle which allows K9 to scamper for another 10 or so yards.
30 yard run against the Los Angeles Rams
Ken Walker III explodes for 30-yard run on split zone with orbit motion by Tyler Lockett. This is easy of a read for a running back as you'll get on split zone. Get downhill after Lucas/Jackson shoved 3-tech inside. Lucas then seals off Bobby Wagner, springing back for big gain. pic.twitter.com/WgJFgzbE0B— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) December 6, 2022
This is a well-executed wham block inside zone play. Noah Fant, who is in pre-snap motion, comes down the line of scrimmage and picks up the defensive end who was unblocked. Leaving the end unblocked allows Dissly and Lucas to each climb to the second level and seal off the inside. Walker lll then navigates some traffic in the middle of the field before being able to bounce it to the outside for the 30-yard tote. If you were to nitpick it would’ve been nice to see Walker lll put his head down at the end to pick up a few more yards rather than just walking it into the sideline, but keep in mind he left the game with an injury later on.