The first day of Seattle Seahawks rookie minicamp took place on Friday afternoon, and some of the first-year players are already starting to turn the heads of the team’s coaching staff.
It’s only one day of minicamp, but second-round pick and former Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III is already getting some attention. Head coach Pete Carroll praised the reigning Doak Walker Award winner for the nation’s top running back shortly after the first practice.
“Ken, he took off now,” Carroll told reporters according to Adam Jude from The Seattle Times. “He’s a rocket. He caught the ball really well today, too, which we’re really excited about.”
The note about the passing game should encourage Seahawks fans, especially since Walker only had 19 receptions over his entire college career.
Kenneth Walker III Quickly Adjusting to Terminology
Walker was a workhorse for the Spartans in 2021, running the ball 263 times for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns. While plenty of college programs love to spread the offense and air it out, Michigan State has typically stayed close to a more traditional pro-style offense.
Apparently, that is helping Walker adjust quickly to his new team, and Carroll has already noticed.
“That was a big thing for me like when I went to Michigan State I wanted to get in that pro-style offense,” he said. “And, you know, when I was at Michigan State, it made a difference because we were able to watch them on NFL teams. And it was just like our offense, just different terminology.”
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“Coming to us, he even understood the terminology to some extent, too, so it’s really going to facilitate him being comfortable with the transition,” Carroll said. “So we’ll expect no issues there at all. He’ll be able to ‘go.’ He’s very bursty, very quick.”
For a running back, being able to quickly understand the playbook so they can focus on making plays on the field is crucial. Any hesitation can slow a running back’s feet down, allowing defenders to bring them down before they can take off. If Walker is already catching on this quickly, then hesitation won’t be a problem.
Walker Has Great Early Rookie of the Year Odds
Despite being taken in the second round, Walker is one of the early favorites to come away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
According to DraftKings, Walker has the sixth-best odds of any rookie to win the award. With 9-to-1 odds, he’s a bigger favorite than a pair of first-round picks in wide receivers Chris Olave and Jameson Williams, as well as the 34th overall pick in Green Bay Packers wideout Christian Watson.
Walker will need to carve out some playing time for himself before he can think about winning Rookie of the Year, however. The former Spartans star will be trying to find his place in a crowded backfield with Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson along with a handful of other backs hoping to make the final 53-man roster.
That being said, if Walker can continue to turn heads at rookie minicamp, OTAs, and training camp, then he’ll have a good chance at getting featured early and often in Seattle’s offense.