It’s been just two starts, but Kenneth Walker III already looks like the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner.
Two starts. That’s all it took for Kenneth Walker III to establish himself as one of the best young talents in the NFL.
The Michigan State product has gone from third-string rookie running back coming off an injury to start the season to RB1 and one of the NFL’s best backs over the past three weeks.
In fact, since taking over for an injured Rashaad Penny against the Saints, Walker has 52 carries for 353 yards and four touchdowns. He looks like a legit superstar in this league.
And after Sunday’s 168-yard showing against the Chargers, it’s time to start talking about him as a serious NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate and potential frontrunner.
Through seven games, Walker is third among all rookie running backs in total yards and he has done so on 13 fewer carries than Breece Hall (Jets) and 39 fewer than Dameon Pierce (Texans). Both of those guys, along with Chris Olave (Saints), are probably in the top five for rookie of the year consideration. Walker averages more yards per carry than both Hall and Pierce.
Pierce averages 4.8 yards per carry while Hall has been a bit better at 5.8 but Walker tops all rookies with 6.1 yards per touch. He is 15th in the entire NFL in rushing yards and third in yards per carry behind just Lamar Jackson and Khalil Herbert. He is killing it.
Walker is eighth in the NFL in rushing touchdowns, tied with Hall and ahead of Pierce.
And most of this production has come from the last three weeks.
The last running back to be named the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year was Saquon Barkley back in 2018 when he rushed for 1,307 yards and five touchdowns on 5.0 yards per carry.
If Walker averages 22 carries per game (which he has been in his two starts) over the final 10 contests of the Seahawks’ season, maintaining around a 6.1 average per carry, he’ll finish the year with over 1,750 yards and over a dozen touchdowns. That’s rookie of the year material right there.
It won’t be easy to keep this pace, but Walker is getting more comfortable and confident by the week and Pete Carroll is trusting him more and more.
Kenneth Walker is about to take the NFL by storm.