LA Rams: 3 second-year players as potential Pro Bowlers
The second player to keep an eye on is LA Rams running back Cam Akers. He has an incredible opportunity to showcase his talent in 2021, as he will be the guy who the team will entrust to carry the football on the majority of running downs. The Rams offense, despite the multi-headed pass attack, is a run-first based attack. This offense forces teams to respect the run, and then uses that hesitation from linebackers and defensive backs to create optimal separation for the receivers.
The 5-foot-10 217-pound running back is a versatile but savvy rusher who is ideal for the LA Rams style of offense. He is capable enough of breaking big yardage gains at any carry. But he is already savvy enough to use his blockers, staying in their shadow until the last possible moment, and then jettisoning them like exhausted booster rockets as he races to daylight.
In just 13 games and starting only five games, Akers put up 625 yards rushing and 123 yards receiving in 2020. He also put up three touchdowns. 2020 NFC Pro Bowlers were Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook (1,557 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns) and New Orleans Saints Alvin Kamara (932 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns).
If Akers can put up over 1,200 yards rushing this year, plus another 600 yards receiving, he has a solid shot at getting plenty of NFL attention, particularly if he starts the season on a rampage. Of course, the LA Rams will be all smiles as soon as he breaks the 1000 yard mark, and adds anything as a receiver, but he has the true potential to do so much more. Just like Jordan Fuller, he had an eyebrow-raising rookie season without the benefit of a training camp. His focus a year ago was just to make the team.
His focus this year is on how to make the team better. This is a story worth following all season.