Skip to main content

NFL Draft: Could Top College RB Kenneth Walker Fix Texans Offense?

In a new mock draft, the Texans add an award-winning running back

HOUSTON -- Running back will be a need for the Houston Texans in 2022. One name won't able to change the outlook right away, but it does mend the issue on paper. 

In the latest two-round mock draft by The Athletic's Dane Brugler, the Texans use the third overall pick on Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. With the 37th pick, Houston looks to bolster its run game with the addition of Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III

Walker, the reigning Doak Walker winner of 2021, became a staple under coach Mel Tucker this past season. Leading the Spartans to a 10-2 regular season, Walker averaged 6.2 yards per carry on the way to rushing for a career-best 1,636 yards and 19 total touchdowns. 

Kenneth Walker III
Kamu Grugier-Hill, Rex Burkhead
rex ss
rex tyrod indy
Tyrod Taylor, David Johnson, Marcus Cannon, Danny Amendola

One of the biggest strengths for Walker are his hands. Last season, he recorded just one fumble on 268 carries. Another key to his overall game is the ability to make defenders miss at the line of scrimmage. According to Pro Football Focus, Walker forced 77 missed tackles and tallied 978 rushing yards after contact, both first among all FBS players. 

Houston finished last in rushing last season under the direction of David Culley and offensive coordinator Tim Kelly. Rex Burkhead, who signed just before the start of training camp, led the way with 427 rushing yards and three touchdowns, averaging 3.7 yards per carry. 

The Texans averaged a league-low 83.6 yards per attempt last season on the ground. Burkhead is set to return in 2022, but David Johnson is an impending free agent. Both Mark Ingram and Philip Lindsay, who rushed for at least 100 yards, were traded or waived during the regular season. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Kenyon Green

Houston Texans BREAKING: Kenyon Green Signs Fully-Guaranteed Rookie Contract

Said Fisher: "He checks all the boxes. You combine that with great athletic ability and you have a great player. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t have an unbelievable career in pro football.”


'Professional' Pitre: New Texans Rookie Locked In to NFL Process

Houston's new rookie is already buying into Lovie Smith's system

Dameon Pierce

Lovie's Expectations For 'Unique' Texans Rookie RB

Lovie Smith addressed the Houston Texans' running back group and his expectations of rookie Dameon Pierce.

John Metchie III

Texans Sign WR John Metchie III To Rookie Deal

The Texans have locked up their second round wide receiver pick to a four-year deal.

Lovie Smith

Texans At Bears: Lovie's 'Special' Return

Lovie Smith returns to Chicago in Week 3 for the first time at the Texans coach.

John Metchie III

Texans Rookie WR John Metchie III Will Play In 2022, No Timetable On Return

There is no timetable on when John Metchie III will return to play, but the Houston Texans are expecting to have their rookie wide receiver on the field at some point during the season.


Lovie Smith Leads Texans Day 1 Of Rookie Minicamp

The Houston Texans held their first day of rookie minicamp with coach Lovie Smith at the helms.


Former Texas A&M WR Quartney Davis Tries Out For Texans

Former A&M top receiver Quartney Davis will try to make the Houston Texans' 90-man roster

Houston will also be changing its offensive personnel following the firings of Culley and Kelly. The Texans are expected to consider pass-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton for their offensive coordinator opening regardless of who is named the next head coach. 

The Texans will also have to decide on ways to fix their offensive line after a down year. Marcus Cannon, Tytus Howard and Laremy Tunsil are all under contract next season, but Cannon could be viewed as a cap casualty after only playing in four games. 

Tunsil, who is signed through the 2023 season, could be traded this offseason for the right price. Last season, the former Dolphins standout played in just five games before being placed on the injured reserve with a thumb injury. 

Howard, who played four different positions for Houston in 2021, could be entering the final year of his rookie deal should the Texans elect to not pick up his fifth-year option. A tackle at Alabama State, Howard began his career at right tackle, but was viewed by the staff last season better as a guard. 

Drafting Walker is a start for the Texans if they truly are hopeful to invest in their run game. It can't be the only added this offseason if the team expects stronger numbers in 2022.