3 ways Cam Akers will help you forget Rams RB Todd Gurley in 2023

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Roster Cam Akers
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Welcome to the Rams roster, Cam Akers

The LA Rams knew that there was no replacement for veteran running back Todd Gurley. Only a handful of running backs who compete in the NFL has that level of ability to dominate the game in so many ways. But at the same time, the Rams knew just how unstoppable their offense can be with the type of threat that a strong running game can provide.

So the Rams front office set about working on three basic presumptions:

I: Whichever running back was chosen, he had to have the ability to gain positive yards with imperfect blocking. After all, the Rams’ offensive line in 2019 was the 31st-ranked unit in the NFL.

II: Whichever running back was chosen, he had to be versatile enough to be considered not only a threat to break a run, but also to be a dangerous receiver as well.

III: The rookie running back selected in the 2020 NFL Draft had to be big enough to handle the workload for the LA Rams offense, but small enough to have significant speed and agility.

With the 52nd pick . . .

At the time he was selected, there were more productive running backs on the board. But no other rusher had the mindset and approach that Akers displayed time and time again when running for a so-so Seminoles football team.

He combined all of those intangible qualities that separate great from good NFL running backs. He was patient. He had an instant burst whenever he saw daylight. He could stay small and in the shadow of his blocker convoy. And, when necessary, he could push his powerful legs through would-be tacklers.

The trick to his success was embedded in the trust that he would be able to sustain with his offensive linemen, a group that had just come off one of their worst seasons. Much like in 2022, the LA Rams’ 2019 offensive line was riddled with injuries, and as a result, finished the season as the 31st-ranked offensive line in the NFL. That is from a field of 32 teams.