7 running backs the Vikings could select in the 2022 NFL Draft

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) James Cook
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) James Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) Kenneth Walker III /

Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State)


  • Height: 5-foot-9 | Weight: 211 pounds

2021 Stats:

  • 263 carries, 1,636 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns
  • 13 catches, 89 yards, 1 touchdown

The Walter Camp and Doak Walker award winner, Kenneth Walker III had 1,636 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns this past season for the Spartans. A transfer from Wake Forest, Walker established himself as an early-down feature back this season.

He has the speed to score from anywhere on the field (4.38-second time in the 40-yard-dash), and the ability to shoulder the load as he logged six-straight games with at least 23 carries.

Walker held the longest streak in the FBS for carries without a fumble which spanned three seasons, proving with his great power comes great (ball) responsibility.

Walker would fit in nicely with the zone run scheme Kevin O’Connell will continue with the Vikings. The Kubiak zone scheme Minnesota has run the past few seasons is similar to the McVay/Shanahan scheme that O’Connell will bring with him from Los Angeles. Walker ran a heavy amount of zone at Michigan State but also was placed offset as well as in the pistol.

Walker projects to be an early-down feature back in the NFL. He has drawn pre-draft comparisons to Willie Parker, Knowshon Moreno, and Ray Rice. He has a higher top-end speed than Rice, but the strength and stature as well as the ability to excel with a low center of gravity draws comparisons to the former Baltimore Raven.

He may not be stealing the spotlight from Dalvin Cook just yet, but should the Vikings draft Walker, it may be an early indicator that Alexander Mattison is playing his last season in purple.