NFL Draft Profile - Kenneth Walker - RB - Michigan State

Updated: Jan 15

"You think you've got him, oh no you didn't"

Profile


Height - 5ft 10"

Weight - 210lbs

Class - Junior


High School


Walker is a product from Arlington High School, during his time there he ran for 3485 yards with 41 touchdowns. He was given a 3-star rating by 247 sports and was ranked143rd running back in the 2019 class. Walker originally committed to Kent state in October 2018. A month later he would decommit opting to sign with Wake Forest to play in the ACC.


College Career

Many people were surprised that Kenneth Walker chose to leave Wake Forest after the 2020 season. He was starting to become more prominent in the running game and achieved 13 touchdowns in 7 starts in his Sophomore year. The team seemed to be showing serious potential on offence but Walker decided to opt-out of the rest of the season and entered the transfer portal.


Mel Tucker and his staff hadn't even heard of Kenneth Walker until they were presented his tape. Once they showed the head coach, it only took a few plays before they decided they wanted him and offered him the opportunity.


What no one expected was the season Michigan State encountered. The bookies had them at under/over 4.5 wins, they achieved this accomplishment in 5 weeks after going undefeated. They later went on to beat their in-state rivals Michigan to move their record to 8-0 on the season. After their win against Michigan, Walker was the favourite to win the Heisman Trophy. Walker peaked in that game, running for 197 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns.


Although his Heisman Trophy stock dropped a little after this, he went on to finish 6th. I don't think anyone would argue a big contributing factor in the Spartans finishing 10-2 was simply Kenneth Walker III and he comes into the NFL Draft as the hottest running back in College Football.


Key Attributes

  • Power Runner

  • Incredible movement (left side, right side, up the middle, if there is a hole he will find it.)

  • Nose for finding gaps

  • Touchdown machine

  • 2nd Level speed

  • Never goes down

  • Big game player

  • Lacks a receiving game

Kenneth Walker's 2021 season is one of the best displays by a running back. To come into a new team and have the season he has had, is unprecedented. He performed at an elite level week in, week out and certainly carried the team on his back on multiple occasions. He's also proven to perform on the biggest occasions with big performances against Michigan, Penn State, Miami and Purdue. His stock will certainly rise as we get closer to the draft when more and more people watch the tape or his lengthy highlights. I still lean to Breece Hall being above him in my rankings, simply because he has proven to be much more effective in the receiving game and has also been playing at this level for the past two seasons, whereas Walker only has this past season. Despite this, I can't see him not playing a big role for an NFL team once drafted. Watch him and enjoy him is all I'm going to say.

He can run any side which is why he is so tough to stop. He picks up on the left side opening up and this highlight shows his speed to get to the outside for the touchdown



Northwestern manage to break into the backfield and probably think they will get their man, not that simple when Walker is carrying the ball, he's so twitchy when he runs, turns out of trouble, cuts and into the endzone



Here comes the "You think you've got him? Oh no you haven't. He runs right into his own lineman as the strong Michigan front push them back into his face. He keeps his balance, keeping the play alive before bouncing to the outside for a big touchdown



He gone! Great patience, his burst is enough to skate past the first tackle and then into the gap and his speed is enough to break off the big play for a touchdown



Another occasion where the defence thinks they've got him until he once again stays up and bounces out to the side. He makes multiple defenders miss and if not for a last-minute diving tackle would've made the end zone




Draft Predictions


Late 2nd Round - Walker has incredible strength, although watching his tape his ability to bounce out to the left, or the right or cut through a tight window is mind-blowing. How a defence plans to stop a guy like Kenneth Walker when he is hot will be fun to see at the next level. The only thing that holds him back from being an earlier selection is his lack of catching ability. His usage in College is a little concerning, he can make basic catches but I haven't seen much else apart from that. He's going to be a great pick up though and I can't wait to see him in the NFL


Best Highlights for the 2021 Season


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