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Ken Walker hoping for an even better second season

Mike Florio and Chris Simms play a round of “What’s more likely” to discuss which surprise 2022 playoff team will stay in the mix, the NFC West downtrodden team that could surprise, the 49ers QB situation and more.

The Seahawks made Ken Walker the 41st overall pick in the 2022 draft, and he ended up being one of the league’s best rookies.

Walker ran for 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns as he finished second to Jets receiver Garrett Wilson in offensive rookie of the year voting. Walker received 19 first-place votes to Wilson’s 18, but Wilson had 27 more total votes.

“I thought I was going to win it,” Walker said, via Maliik Obee of the team website. “Garrett Wilson is a great player, though, so let’s not take it from him. Yeah, kind of frustrated, but it happens. I can’t make those decisions, so I’ve just got to come out here and do my best and get better.”

After 15 regular-season games, a postseason game and now an offseason, Walker is more comfortable than he was a year ago. That should mean even bigger production in 2023.

“Yeah, it’s much easier,” Walker said. “You know, I know the plays. I know what to expect on offense and from the defense, so it’s much easier. My head’s not spinning from when I first got here.”

Walker is mentoring rookie backs Zach Charbonnet and Kenny McIntosh, with the Seahawks counting on him to lead the way.

Walker hopes that means more receptions.

He had 19 total catches in college at Wake Forest and Michigan State. He caught 27 passes for 165 yards last season.

“I mean, I can catch the ball,” Walker said. “In high school, I was a wide receiver and a running back. And then when I got to college, I was in an offense that really didn’t throw the ball. . . . And so, I guess a lot of people around the league or whatever didn’t think I could catch, but, you know, Shane [Waldron] and everybody believed in me up here and they’ve been passing me the ball more.”