Kenneth Walker III
RB Michigan State 5-9 211 JR #9
GRADE: 85 OVR RANK: 50 POS RANK: 2
ARM LENGTH: 30 3/8”//HAND SIZE: 9 ½”//40YD: 4.38 (99%)//10YD: 1.50 (99%)
VJ: 34” (56%)//BJ: 10’02” (83%)//BP: ( %)//SS: ( %)//3C: ( %)
Projection: Starting RB in a heavy Gap scheme, otherwise more of a committee RB who could develop into a bell-cow that you can win with in a year or two. Draft Projection: Late Round 2 ~ GrindingTheMocks.com
Ravens Fit: Walker is a great scheme fit for the Ravens, he excels on Gap runs with good footwork and excellent timing to turn on his speed and get to the second level. He has the change of direction skills to make defenders miss in the open field. The Ravens are clearly not in the early Running Back stakes and you would imagine Walker will need to be selected early to secure him, probably taking him out of contention for them. However he just looks more comfortable as a Gap runner, and many teams run far heavier doses of Zone runs, that might lead to a fall that might get him to a position of value.
Overall Fit 4/5
Running the Ball
Has very good speed, burst and change of direction. He stays patient before getting to the line of scrimmage and allows his blocks to develop showing an innate feel for varying his speeds. As a gap runner, he presses his keys effectively, staying tight to his path and to pulling blockers heading to the second level. He cuts off the OL’s butt and keeps defenders honest with body position and posture. His timing as a gap runner is exceptional, he knows when to stick his foot in the ground and turn on the after-burners. When he presses his keys so effectively as a gap runner, he creates just enough extra space to bring his lateral movement ability into play. If he can freeze defenders for a split second his speed, lateral agility, and body flexibility, especially his ankle flexion allows him to get around second level defenders in open space, he can make even high processing, high speed safeties look silly with subtle pressure steps to lure them into taking less than advantageous angles.
When running between the Tackles, he can also use his change of direction skills and ankle flexion to slalom through traffic, turning tackles into diving arm tackles that he can run over with high knees. His contact balance is solid but not spectacular, if a defender with solid play strength can get a good bump on him from the side it can bring him down. He does play with a good pad level and when he squares defenders up he can run through DBs in open space and fall forward against LBs. In Inside Zone, Outside Zone and Duo, he doesn’t press his keys for nearly long enough and he’s left yards on the field through not doing so. He comes off his path far too soon and quickly runs to space but it doesn’t allow him to make any of his OL right and he ends up getting stuffed. His first level vision is good but he doesn’t yet consistently combine his footwork with his 2nd level vision and can run into unblocked LBs. He could be more creative with loss mitigation when faced with multiple defenders in the backfield. He rarely beats a man in the backfield with lateral explosion, his change of direction skills are best deployed when he’s at speed rather than from a standing start.
Passing Down Skills
Not at all an experienced receiver out of the backfield and it shows but the challenges aren’t things that can’t be fixed with reps and time. He doesn’t help his QB out on swing routes by giving him an angle to throw at and generally he hasn’t yet learnt how to use his speed and lateral movement ability to gain separation. He could be very dangerous out of the backfield once he harnesses this ability as a receiver. He has good hands, looks to have good manual dexterity and catches outside of his frame for the most part. He can catch balls thrown behind him and in front. He processes well as a pass protector and competes. He does go a little too often to the cut block well.
Speed, burst, change of direction can turn most tackles into diving arm tackles which he will run over. Good footwork on Gap runs, could press his keys for longer in Zone
PRODUCTION JR: 262 Att, 1634 rush yards (6.2 avg), 18 TD, 1 Fumble, 16 tgts, 13 Rec, 89 rec yards (6.8 avg), 1 Rec TD Injury: Ankle Injury – missed 3 games (JR)