After releasing long-time featured running back Todd Gurley, is Florida State running back Cam Akers the ideal next rusher to take over for LA Rams?
After the LA Rams didn’t take part in the first day of the NFL draft (spent 2020 and 2021 first rounds in bringing cornerback Jalen Ramsey last season) they started their travesty in a bold manner.
The Rams had four picks on the second day (two in the 2nd round and two in the 3rd) and spent the first one on former Florida State Seminole running back Cam Akers.
Akers entered the collegiate level as a top-10 recruit, after being named Mr. Mississipi Football and U.S. Army National Player of the Year. Of course, he had the production to back up such lofty accolades. The former high school quarterback threw for more than 8,100 yards and 78 scores and ran for more than 5,100 yards while scoring 71 touchdowns on the ground.
In his first season with the Seminoles, Akers broke fellow NFL star Dalvin Cook freshman record with 1,025 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns in 194 carries, while adding 16 receptions, good for 116 yards and 1 score, Displaying his dual-threat ability. He earned his third All-ACC team award in 2017.
In 2018, Akers’s production came down but still led the Seminoles in rushing 161 times, for 706 yards and six scores, and 23 receptions for 145 yards and two scores. He also had 5 fumbles that season.
Akers regained his star factor in his junior season, racking up 1,144 yards in 231 attempts, with 14 rushing touchdowns, and 30 receptions for 225 yds and 4 scores.
Is Akers right for the Rams?
Now for the age-old question. Does Akers fit the mold of what the Rams look for in their lead back?
Cam Akers is a physical running back that, although a small sample, has displayed his ability to catch a pass. He has a natural ability to be a receiving threat but has to work on it to make it more consistent. He led the Seminoles in three straight seasons with his huge running ability and was a team leader. A true bruiser that played behind an abysmal offensive line in a weak scheme.
Bottom line, I like the fit in McVay’s scheme, Running backs CJ Anderson and Malcolm Brown are the same type of runners (albeit, not as good as Akers) and proved themselves, but I don’t like the pick. Offensive tackle Josh Jones from Houston and Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun were available and they should’ve been gone by the time the Rams picked. In addition, either of those positions is a greater need than a running back based on the depth of talent in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Unless, of course, McVay and Snead already gave up in Darrel Henderson, the Memphis start RB they traded up to select in last year’s draft to support Gurley. Akers could’ve been drafted later, while the Rams filled the puzzle with other pieces, but their early bet in skill positions might tell another story.