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2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Prospect: Kenneth Walker, RB Michigan State

We take a closer look at Michigan State’s breakout running back Kenneth Walker.

Kenneth Walker

Our NFL rookie profile series continues with this analysis of 2022 NFL Draft prospect Kenneth Walker, RB from Michigan State. We will continue to provide you with these in-depth rookie profiles and a ton of other fantasy football rookie analysis right up through the NFL Draft. Stay tuned, and stay ahead of your league!

The 2022 rookie running back class consensus is that there is a clear number one, followed closely by a top tier, then a muddling group of interesting players. Kenneth Walker is just behind Breece Hall at the top of the list.

Lightly recruited out of the state of Tennessee, Walker started his collegiate career at Wake Forest where he had flashes of brilliance before transferring to Michigan State.

THE STATS

Statistics from Sports Reference.

You might look at his time at Wake Forest and be hesitant to trust in Walker. However, it seems the scheme had more to do with his early struggles. The Deacons seemed to want their RB to wait behind the line and then attack – something that does not align with Walker’s strengths.

However, he found a new home.

2021 was his coming-out season and Walker quickly capitalized on his role as the starting RB at Michigan State. He finished sixth in Heisman voting and received the Walter Camp Player of the Year award. Walker also won the Doak Walker award, given to the best RB in the nation.

Looking at Dominator for RBs going back to the year 2000, we see how special Walker’s 2021 was. Even as a sophomore in 2020 at Wake Forest he was taking a stronghold of the offense.

THE FILM

Walker is a self-made RB. As a three-star recruit, he was not heavily recruited out of high school. He was ranked on 247sports as the RB143 in the nation.

He is a physical player, and with his speed he can put defenders off balance quickly to either run over them or around them. On his first carry with the Spartans, Walker took the ball and with a quick plant of his foot cut against the flow of the defense and went 75 yards for a touchdown.

While not asked to be a huge part of the receiving game out of the backfield, Walker shows on clips he is more than adept as a pass-catcher. He needs to work on his pass protection at times as he fails to square up on the blitz.

As the tweets from PFF show. Walker produced in 2021 when given the opportunity to be the main back. His compact build allows him to get his pads under defenders who tried to square up.

Walker only had one recorded fumble on 276 touches in 2021.

THE MEASURABLES

Walker’s speed, which is evident on film, was on display at the NFL Scouting Combine. He blazed a 4.38-second 40-yard dash and his 10-yard split showed his ability to make a quick cut and accelerate to the open field. His broad jump and vertical don’t quite match with the power on film but that might tie more into his compact build.

DYNASTY VALUE

In the latest DLF April 2022 Rookie Dynasty ADP, Walker comes in as the RB2 and amongst the top three overall picks in rookie drafts. Arguably, he could jump Breece Hall depending on their landing spots.

In the April 2022 Rookie superflex dynasty ADP, Walker is holding steady as the RB2 and just behind Hall and QB Malik Willis.

Walker’s overall value will rise or fall with the landing spot. With early success as a rookie, expect him to make a climb similar to Javonte Williams on the Broncos come next off-season.

CONCLUSION

Kenneth Walker is a fantastic early pick in your rookie drafts. He has the home run speed and tackle-breaking ability that should lead to early success in the NFL. He can create something out of nothing and is a highlight waiting to happen as evident by his collegiate leading 46 runs of 10 or more yards in 2021.

Walker showed good sustained durability in college and even played through a nagging ankle injury in 2021. Draft him with confidence at the top of your rookie class.

2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Prospect: Kenneth Walker, RB Michigan State
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