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2022 NFL Draft Profile: Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III

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Player Profile

Recruiting Profile: Click Here

Position: RB

Height: 5090

Weight: 210

Year: Junior

Jersey Number: 9/25

Offensive Scheme: (Multiple/Run Heavy Michigan State), (Spread/RPO Wake Forest)

Offensive Coordinator: Jay Johnson Michigan State, Warren Ruggiero Wake Forest

Games Reviewed: 2021 Michigan, 2021 Ohio State, 2021 Rutgers, 2020 Virginia

Position Specific Critical Factors

Vision: (7) Very Good

Ability to run to daylight and gain positive yardage. Running without hesitation, seeing cut-back lanes, patience to follow blocks, finding open seams, creating something out of nothing, ability to set up blockers.

Contact Balance: (9) Near Elite

Ability to maintain his balance in traffic, bounce off of would-be tacklers and continue to advance the football. This grade should reflect his ability to play with a low center of gravity, strength, balance, and foot coordination to keep plays alive amidst contact and foot trash.

Pass Game Impact: (6) Good

Combination of his ability to make plays out of the backfield as a receiver, catching skill, and pick-up defenders in pass pro.

Key Strengths

  • Vision/Patience

  • Burst/Short Area Quicks

  • Contact Balance

Key Weaknesses

  • Routes Out Of Backfield

  • Pass Pro

Pass Game Summary

Kenneth Walker's limited usage as a pass-catcher in his two seasons at Wake Forest and in 2021 at Michigan State does not conclude he lacks as a receiver. Walker has displayed good hands and adequate route running ability from out of the backfield when given the opportunity. On film, he is a hands catcher with good after-the-catch ability. Walker is a willing blocker on passing downs but needs to improve his blitz pickup. Walker has displayed three-down ability at the collegiate level, and with more repetition, he can improve his ability as both a receiver and a blocker at the next level.

Run Game Summary

As a runner, Kenneth Walker displays great patience allowing his blocks to set up, good vision (eyes) to find daylight where he can accelerate and burst into a defense's second and third level. His nifty footwork, combined with short-area quickness, is high level, he can make defenders miss in a phonebooth, and if you give him space, he will win a high percentage of one-on-one battles with defenders.

Kenneth Walker displays good durability and stamina as a player who appears to get better throughout a game. Walker is a contact balance savant who bounces off of tacklers consistently and can create something out of nothing. Walker does a great job taking care of the football, considering he is consistently dancing in and around traffic. On film, you see a dynamic and creative runner, who, when it looks like he might get reeled in for negative yardage, Walker pops out from within the traffic to pick up a positive gain.

Final Analysis

Kenneth Walker is a dynamic playmaker who displays a versatile running style; he can dance his way through traffic on one play and then make one cut and get downhill on the next. He will be the highest-rated RB on a lot of NFL Draft big boards for 2022, and if not for the question marks about his ability as a receiver, he would be a projected late first-round pick. Walker will have opportunities to show more of what he can do as a receiver by participating at Michigan States Pro Day and the NFL scouting combine.

Final Grade Analysis

Final Grade: (6.9) (High Upside Potential)

(6.9-6.7) Solid Starter Level

Ceiling Grade: (8) (Instant Impact Potential)

(9.0-7.0) High-End Starter

Floor Grade: (6.9) (High Upside Potential)

(6.9-6.7) Solid Starter Level


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