At No. 33 overall, the Bucs selected Houston defensive tackle Logan Hall. But according to CBS Sports Josina Anderson, the Bucs were also interested in Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker. Walker is widely considered one of the two best running backs in this year’s draft class.
It’s interesting that the Bucs would be interested in a running back this early in the draft. The team currently has Leonard Fournette and Giovanni Bernard, who were both re-signed this offseason. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who was a 2020 third-round pick, is also on the roster, along with Kenjon Barber. While there is room for a fourth back on the team, Fournette is the undisputed starter and Bernard looks to help on third downs. Snaps would be difficult for Walker to find in year one.
Walker also did not have many opportunities in college to display two traits the Bucs put a premium on in running backs. Those two traits are pass-catching and pass protection. Walker totaled only 19 receptions for 136 yards and one touchdown over his three-year career at Michigan State. Additionally, he wasn’t asked to pass protect much, and when he was his tape was inconsistent at best.
While the Bucs had meetings with several running backs throughout the draft process, Walker was not one of them to Pewter Report’s knowledge. Obviously Anderson hears a lot of things in conversations with agents. She’s a good reporter who knows her stuff. But it would have been shocking if Walker were truly high on the Bucs’ board. The team will consider a lot of backs in this class. It’s unlikely Walker would have been a Jason Licht selection, but now we’ll never know. Seattle selected Walker at No. 41 overall.