Seahawks draft: 5 questions about Kenneth Walker III with Spartans expert

In the second round of the 2022 NFL draft, the Seahawks selected running back Kenneth Walker III. Walker is a gifted athlete who could immediately step in and presume the lead back spot if Rashaad Penny once again gets injured.

Walker isn’t a finished product just yet, though. He didn’t have a chance to prove he can catch passes out of the backfield in college. Nor is he definitely ready to take on pass rushers on the Seahawks passing downs.

To get more of a lowdown on Walker, I asked Connor Muldowney of FanSided’s Michigan State site, Spartan Avenue, five questions.

All you need to know about the Seahawks newest running back, Kenneth Walker III

12th Man Rising: Walker clearly has the muscle to run inside and speed to break away when in the open field, but what do you think made him so special with Michigan State in 2021?

Connor Muldowney: Walker was one of those guys who was always a threat to take it the distance which made him special. He has muscle and speed, but his elusiveness was incredible. He could look destined for a 3-yard loss and he’d find a way to turn it into a 30-yard gain. Anyone who could run for over 1,600 yards behind that Michigan State offensive line is special.

12th Man Rising: What did Walker show in college last year that might make you worry about his initial production as a pro? Is there anything he really needs to work on?

Muldowney: The only thing that would worry me is his lack of production in the passing game. He’s not the best blocker and he only caught a handful of passes. I know he’s capable of the latter but he didn’t need to be used in that way for MSU, but adding that dimension to his game will definitely help.

12th Man Rising: What will Walker’s legacy be at Michigan State as he only played one season there?

Muldowney: Walker is a Michigan State legend. Although he was only there for a year, he made a positive impact on and off the field and quickly became a fan favorite (from the first snap of the season). He carried Michigan State to a huge comeback win over Michigan, he won the Doak Walker and Walter Camp Awards, and he was always a humble dude. He will be remembered as one of the all-time MSU greats. Seattle got a great one.

12th Man Rising: Walker obviously was fantastic once he took a handoff but wasn’t used in the passing game much. Was this more a design of the Michigan State offense or something else?

Muldowney: I kind of touched on this one earlier but it felt like more of a design thing. Michigan State had three really good receivers and depth there so he wasn’t needed to make catches. He did on occasion but the offense wasn’t set up for him to be utilized that way. I think he’s fully capable of adding that to his repertoire.

12th Man Rising: What are one or two things about Kenneth Walker III that all Seahawks fans should know but might not, possibly off-the-field interests?

Muldowney: I’m not 100 percent sure about his off-the-field interests and that’s because he’s incredibly shy and quiet. You’d think a star running back would be loud and full of himself but he’s the exact opposite. One thing all Seahawks fans should know is that he will never put himself first. He is all about the team which was and is refreshing to see.