With the 52nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams selected Cam Akers, a running-back out of Florida State University (FSU). Akers is an all-around running back that demonstrates great versatility in terms of his playstyle.
At two-hundred and seventeen pounds, his size and build afford him the ability to be a consistent three-down back for the Rams; he also displays the grit of a reliable pass blocker. Akers is a tough runner, as illustrated by his 3.91 yards after contact. He has a sharp eye for holes at the line of scrimmage as well as the open field. Although he is not the most elusive prospect, his vision is what carries his name as a high-ceiling prospect.
Aside from his power-back abilities, Akers is an explosive back, running the 5th fastest forty-yard dash time amongst running back prospects at the NFL Combine. Akers has played behind a depleted offensive line throughout the majority of his career and, despite this, has managed to produce two 1,000 yard seasons on the ground, one of which set an FSU Freshman rushing record.
With their second-round pick, Los Angeles Rams’ Head Coach, Sean McVay, and General Manager Les Snead detect potential in Akers. Initially, it appears the Rams look to split the carries in their back-field between Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr., their current RB1. Seeing that Henderson lacked production last season, his experience appears to be the only advantage over Akers.
Akers should take the full load by the half-way mark of the season, if not at the start. Akers has shown flashes of his duel-threat ability as a receiving back but hasn’t solidified that part of his game enough to translate successfully in the NFL. If he is able to improve on his pass-catching abilities, it will allow for the Rams to open up their playbook to different zone-running schemes as well as zone-passing schemes out of their backfield.
Additionally, McVay can find a way to replicate the effective offense that allowed former Rams’ RB Todd Gurley to generate maximum production in both the air and in the ground game. Cam Akers is a well-rounded back that, if put into the right system, may produce enough to be considered as a dark-horse candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Cam Akers could not have ended up in a better spot than with the Rams.
What do you think? Can Cam Akers win rookie of the year?