With Seattle rookie Ken Walker, there are a couple of primary obstacles to him being a standout fantasy back. One is Rashaad Penny, who will presumably open as the starter. The other is the question as to whether an eventual move into the lineup means he'll get opportunities in the passing game.

Walker didn't get used in the passing game at Michigan State, and Pete Carroll said something along the lines of him needing a lot of work in that regard at minicamp. But it's too soon to say he's incapable of contributing as a receiver, rather than simply not being involved that way through no fault of his own. We've debated it here, and will probably continue to do so until we see something in the preseason or regular season to offer more evidence. (The picture accompanying this story shows Walker catching a pass at training camp a few days ago.)

While the first running back drafted in April, Breece Hall, caught 36 passes for 302 yards and 3 TDs last year, and 82 balls in three college seasons, Walker wasn't a factor in college. He caught only 13 passes last year, and 19 total in three seasons. If he can catch or pass protect, we haven't seen that much of it.

I decided to take a look at all the other productive college runners (using 1,300 rushing yards as the threshold) from the last 10 years who weren't used in the passing game in college. Have any of those guys emerged as quality receivers in the NFL? The answer is yes.

Table below shows all 1,300-yard college rushers from the last decade who caught 15 or fewer passes in those seasons. (There were a few quarterbacks who showed up in the table initially and I believe I deleted most of them; apologies if any snuck in.) Search tools at college-football-reference.com were used in compiling this table.

Several players show up who haven't been good or haven't been used much in the passing game in the NFL. Ronald Jones, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Jordan Howard, Matt Breida, Benny Snell.

But there are plenty of players who didn't catch many passes in those big rushing seasons in college but have done just fine in the passing game in the NFL. Jonathan Taylor shows up on the list twice, and he's caught 76 passes his first two seasons. Melvin Gordon has a pair of 50-catch seasons. Kareem Hunt stepped right into the league with a 53-catch season in Kansas City, and Devin Singletary has been fine catching passes in Buffalo. Travis Etienne shows up on the list, and everyone's expecting him to make a big impact as a receiver in Jacksonville this year.

Bottom line, I don't know if Walker will get those opportunities in Seattle, even if and when he moves past Penny. DeeJay Dallas or Travis Homer might come on the field in those situations. But the fact that he hasn't been used that way doesn't mean he can't do it. Often it's just the offense they're in.

Samaje Perine2014Oklahoma26317132115108
Tyler Gaffney2013Stanford3301709211586
LeVante Bellamy2019Western Michigan2661472231555
Rawleigh Williams2016Arkansas24513601215220
Samaje Perine2015Oklahoma22613491615107
George Winn2012Cincinnati24313341315128
Jarvion Franklin2014Western Michigan30615512414163
Ronald Jones2017Southern California26115501914187
Royce Freeman2017Oregon24414751614164
Brenden Knox2019Marshall27013871114129
Mike Warren2015Iowa State227133951470
Jaret Patterson2019Buffalo31217991913209
AJ Dillon2019Boston College31816851413195
Kenneth Walker2021Michigan State2631636181389
Cameron Artis-Payne2014Auburn30316081313147
Abram Smith2021Baylor2571601121375
Alex Collins2015Arkansas2711577201395
Elijah Hood2015North Carolina2181463171371
Josh Adams2017Notre Dame2061430913101
Christopher Rodriguez2021Kentucky2251378101361
Tre Mason2013Auburn31718162312163
Travis Etienne2018Clemson2041658241278
Corey Clement2016Wisconsin31413751512132
Nick Wilson2014Arizona2361375161290
Derrick Henry2015Alabama3952219281191
Jeremy Langford2014Michigan State2761522221162
Montee Ball2012Wisconsin3561830221072
Kasey Carrier2012New Mexico2551469151075
Jahwan Edwards2012Ball State2321410141051
Benny Snell2017Kentucky2621333191072
Kareem Hunt2014Toledo205163116939
Jordan Howard2014Alabama-Birmingham306158713972
D'Angelo Brewer2017Tulsa28815179988
Adam Muema2012San Diego State2371458169147
Joe Williams2016Utah2101407109107
Derrius Guice2016Louisiana State1831387159106
Shock Linwood2015Baylor196132910971
Jonathan Taylor2018Wisconsin307219416860
Jonathan Taylor2017Wisconsin299197713895
Brian Hill2016Wyoming349186022867
Kapri Bibbs2013Colorado State281174131859
Matt Breida2014Georgia Southern171148517897
B.J. Baylor2021Oregon State227133713875
Lexington Thomas2017Nevada-Las Vegas2111336178143
D'Onta Foreman2016Texas323202815775
Jamaal Williams2016Brigham Young234137512780
James Butler2015Nevada208134510744
Nico Evans2018Wyoming20413258766
Bryce Love2017Stanford263211819633
Devon Johnson2014Marshall2061767176121
Devin Singletary2018Florida Atlantic261134822636
Myles Gaskin2015Washington227130214619
James Conner2014Pittsburgh298176526570
D'Angelo Brewer2016Tulsa26414357519
Jalin Moore2016Appalachian State237140210532
Javian Hawkins2019Louisville26415259458
Nick Chubb2017Georgia223134515430
Spencer Brown2017Alabama-Birmingham250132910442
James Flanders2016Tulsa258162918317
Matt Breida2015Georgia Southern20316091736
DeWayne McBride2021Alabama-Birmingham204137113319
Melvin Gordon2013Wisconsin206160912110
Keenan Reynolds2015Navy265137324147
James Gilbert2016Ball State251133212118
Andre Williams2013Boston College35521771800
Malcolm Perry2019Navy29520172100
Ahmad Bradshaw2017Army24217461400
AJ Dillon2017Boston College30015891400
Brad Roberts2021Air Force29913561300
Keenan Reynolds2013Navy30013463100

--Andy Richardson