It’s a tough year to be a running back headed to the NFL. With so many top-flight pass rushers, wide receivers and defensive backs boasting round-one grades, it’s going to be difficult for many players at the halfback position to crack the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Kenneth Walker III from Michigan State sits below Breece Hall on most media draft boards. And you don’t see his name in the first round of very many mock drafts eithers. However, because of the type of player he is, there’s a small chance some team will be willing to take a chance on him before the opening night is over.
Kenneth Walker III, first-round pick +300
The best bet here is that Walker will go in the first round. It seems counterintuitive—the second-ranked running back in a draft class loaded at other positions—but Walker has a rare combination of speed and power that teams never tire of, even in today’s pass-happy NFL. He’s the kind of player who can make things happen even when the blocks aren’t there, and with one cut, he’s gone. The knock against Walker is that he doesn’t look like be brings much to the table in the passing game, but we’re coming off a season where Derrick Henry was putting up MVP numbers (before his injury) and that’s going to resonate.
Walker would be a great fit for a team that loves to run, or maybe a team that wants a strong running game to keep some pressure off its wobbly quarterback situation. Either way, it’s worth a flyer on Walker going on day one.
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