Cornerback Tariq Woolen and running back Kenneth Walker III, two members of a draft class that played a big role in the Seahawks success this season, have been named finalists for the Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year Award.
Walker and Woolen are two of six finalists for the award along with Jets cornerback Ahmad Gardner, Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Saints receiver Chris Olave and Jets receiver Garrett Wilson.
The winner of the Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year Award is determined by fan vote, with the voting period open now through February 3. Fans can vote at https://www.nfl.com/voting/rookies/rookie-of-the-year or in the poll below. The winner will be recognized during Super Bowl Week in Arizona and will be presented with a special designed Pepsi Zero Sugar-themed trophy.
Woolen, a fifth-round pick out of UTSA, won a starting job in training camp and went on to record six interceptions, tied for the most in the NFL and a Seahawks rookie record, as well as 16 passes defensed, tied for fourth most in the NFL.
Walker, a second-round pick out of Michigan State, took over a starting role after Rashaad Penny suffered a season-ending injury, and despite starting only 11 games, he went on to lead NFL rookies with 1,215 scrimmage yards, 1,050 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. One of two rookies in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards along with Curt Warner, Walker had five 100-yard games in 2022, the most by a rookie back since Saquon Barkley had six in 2018.
Walker and Woolen were two of eight rookies to make significant contributions for the Seahawks this year along tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, cornerback Coby Bryant, outside linebacker Boye Mafe, receiver Dareke Young and safety Joey Blount, who signed as an undrafted free agent.
The Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award has been given out since 2002 with one Seahawk winning in the past, quarterback Russell Wilson in 2012.
Both Walker and Woolen have strong cases for Associated Press Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, which will be announced during NFL Honors on February 9.
Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from the Seahawks' Wild Card game vs. the San Francisco 49ers on January 14, 2023 at Levi's Stadium. Eye On The Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.