Some 12s reactions to the Seahawks draft of Kenneth Walker III beg the question: do you even watch football, bro? He is the perfect fit at the perfect time.
Like most 12s, I was elated when the Seahawks used their third pick to select Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III. The man is an absolute beast in the backfield. As our own Geoff Shull aptly put it, he breaks tackles like your grandma makes cookies. I’m not going to spend a lot of time breaking down just how great a player Walker is, as Geoff already did a much better job of it than I would.
What I will address, though, is the incredibly short-sighted, lame-brained, and, and…well, I can’t think of another hyphenated term for stupid opinions, so I’ll get back to you on that. I do want to say that from what I’ve seen, most 12s get it.
They love the pick, as they should. What’s not to love? The 4.38 speed, the 6.2 average gain, the 89 – yes, 89 – broken tackles; it’s all there, everything you want in a top-flight running back.
Seahawks absolutely needed to take Walker in the second round
Okay, I’ll be honest. The complaints have less to do with Walker’s talent than the fact the Seahawks used their second pick to take him. The recurring theme of stupidity is: “The Hawks already have Carson and Penny, they didn’t need another back.” Ummm… there are more than a few problems with this utter lack of thought process. Let’s break them down, shall we?
Yes, the Seahawks have Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. They have them through this season, and that’s it. Travis Homer’s contract expires after the 2022 season too. That would have left Seattle with exactly one running back under contract for the 2023 season, DeeJay Dallas.
I like him a lot, but no one thinks he’s a number one back. You don’t draft players for one season, people. It doesn’t matter that the Hawks have Carson and Penny on board this year. Walker is a talent, and he’ll be brushing off tacklers like gnats for at least the next four years.
Speaking of Carson and Penny, yes, I love the guys. It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote they would be the most dangerous backfield in the NFL. Actually, it was that long ago; I wrote that in July of 2019. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Was I wrong, did I misjudge their talent? C’mon, 12s, you know they’re both studs when they’re on the field. And that is what I misjudged; that they’d be on the field.
Chris Carson has played in just 41 of 89 possible games in his career. Rashaad Penny has been on the field for only 37 of 65 possible games. I’m not talking about starts, mind you, but total games. Combined, the current Seattle bell cow backs have missed 78 games. Carson has missed 54 percent of his contests, while Penny missed 43 percent of his chances. And those are the guys you’re going to depend on?
Listen, I’ll be thrilled if Carson comes back healthy, for his sake more than the team. I’d love to see him and Penny fulfill my prediction for 2019 and absolutely destroy the league. Meanwhile, Walker could spell them on occasion and adjust to NFL speed and schemes.
As I’ve written just now, three years ago, and multiple times in-between, I love what Carson and Penny bring to the field. But we can’t depend on them both being on the field this season, let alone re-signing with the Seahawks and coming back in the future.
As our peerless leader Lee Vowell said last night in a writers’ group chat – yes, we had our own pretend war room, just without the pretend phone calls – Walker would have been a top 10 pick in years past. Yes, the game has changed, but when you want to run the ball, you need a running back on the field. Even with the emphasis on passing, the Hawks were lucky he dropped to the second round. Kenneth Walker III was absolutely the right choice for this team at the right spot.