PRO 2022 Rookie Spotlight: Kenneth Walker III, RB Michigan State

2022 Rookie Spotlight: Kenneth Walker III, RB Michigan State
Height: 5-9
Weight: 211
Hands: 9 1/2″
Arm: 30 3/8″
40 yard dash: 4.38
NFL Comparison: Melvin Gordon

College Production (Final Season)
57% team rushes
5% team receptions
31% total team yards
38% total team TDs

– Doak Walker Award winner (2021) 
– Walter Camp Player of the Year (2021)
– elite vision, patience and contact balance
– gets small through tight spaces
– uncanny ability to create regardless of how well-blocked the play is
– excellent burst both laterally and upfield through LOS
– terrific acceleration AND long-speed
– relatively compact with sturdy frame
– rarely goes down on first tackle attempt
– elite tackle-breaker without being a lumbering bruiser
– has shown he can handle a major workload (20+ carries in six-straight college games)

– was not used much in the receiving game
– worry is more about learning pass-pro than receiving in general
– is slightly smaller than you’d hope for an NFL bellcow back

Scouting Notes: Kenny Walker is an excellent running back prospect. He’s a sturdy and capable runner who had a monster, award-stacking, junior season at Michigan State after spending his first two years at Wake Forest. Per PFF, Walker averaged 5.8 yards per carry and 4.3 yards after contact per carry, and he broke 89 tackles this past season alone. In fact, he led all of the FBS in 2021 in yards after contact (1168), forced missed tackles (89) and carries of 15-plus yards (30). These numbers highlight Walker’s excellent all-around skillset as a runner. Not only does he possess all the attributes you wish to see in a true between-the-tackles workhorse when it comes to creating on his own through traffic, once he breaks into the open field, it’s lights-out for the competition thanks to his long speed. A truly special combination. The combine answered any questions about his physical measurables, so now the only one that really remains is the receiving and pass-pro piece. In fantasy, we want players on the field for all three downs, and as of now, we can only point to evidence suggesting that Walker should be considered an extremely high-end early-down option for an NFL team until he proves his wares as a receiving back and pass protector on throwing downs. The good news is, we’ve seen players with a similar profile to Walker like Melvin Gordon (a Big 10 volume-back who was hardly used as a receiver in college) come to the NFL and flourish in the receiving game.

Fantasy Outlook: Strong. He’ll be a consensus Top 2 RB in your dynasty rookie draft and will be in consideration to be first player off the board, period, even in superflex leagues.


  1. Love the analysis!
    How quickly after the NFL draft are you planning on having the rookie cheat cheat out? One of my league managers is threatening to have the draft the week after

    1. Thank you! v1.0 is always up by the Monday following the draft.

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