Running back rankings: Where do Seahawks fit in?
Is Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet the new top duo?
Predicting who next season’s best running backs will be could be the hardest position to project because so often it seems that a player’s best career season is somewhat unprecedented—whether that’s because he’s a rookie, in year two, or sometimes in his fifth or six campaign—but the NFL’s top four rushers in 2022 are all familiar names.
No surprises there. Setting aside Justin Fields, who was seventh in rushing yards, the next three running backs on the leaderboard were Miles Sanders, Dalvin Cook, and Christian McCaffrey. Next was Travis Etienne, a first round pick, and Aaron Jones, a well-established NFL success story.
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It’s only outside of the top 10 when we hit the real surprises: Jamaal Williams (1,066 yards, 17 TD), Kenneth Walker III (1,050 yards, 9 TD), Rhamondre Stevenson (1,040 yards), and Tyler Allgeier (1,035 yards) as the next four on the list. And Walker was as good as any first round pick of his era, the second running back drafted in 2022 behind Breece Hall, who would have reached 1,000+ yards if not for injury.
However, the Seattle Seahawks may not have only been complementing Walker when they selected Zach Charbonnet with the 52nd overall pick in the draft. A somewhat uncomfortable but legitimate question to address is whether or not Pete Carroll is hedging against the possiblity that the areas that Walker struggled in as a rookie, and there were some significant flaws, will not improve.
Best case scenario, the Seahawks have two starting running backs who could both rank in the top-10 of the position for the next five years. But given what we’ve seen already, the worst case scenario for Walker probably still isn’t all that bad. He’s a good player and was one of the most dynamic home run hitters on the ground in 2022, but there were also some key categories that Walker ranked near the bottom of the league in last season and some attributes of the position that he needs to show improvement with before being a top-10 running back.
What are those areas of improvement, what does Charbonnet do well, who will get the most touches next season and where do the Seahawks probably rank at the running back position following the draft?