The Los Angeles Rams had themselves perhaps the best draft of the Sean McVay era and we haven’t even seen the third round. With zero trades to speak of from the trade guru himself, Les Snead, the Rams decided to select four players on day two of the NFL Draft. However, what was the final product of doing so? I decided to dive into this day two list of draft picks and see what exactly each player can do, how they fit, and grade their overall selection in this draft.
2nd Round, 52nd overall: Florida State RB Cam Akers
- Height: 5-10
- Weight: 217
- Age: 20
- 40-Time: 4.47
- Bench Press: 20 reps
- Vertical Jump: 35.5″
- Broad Jump: 122.0
- 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.42
What are the Rams getting in Akers?
The Rams are getting a running back that can quite honestly be their go-to-guy. It’s confusing in a sense because they drafted Darrell Henderson and even traded up to get him last year. Cam Akers is a very talented back that is very well built at 5-foot-10 and 217 pounds. He is extremely strong for that size and is very fast as well. This is a player that truly had nothing on the offensive line, he had to break tackle after tackle and was able to do so and remain consistent despite the lack of talent on the offensive line and how often he would find no room to run. Akers created plays that simply weren’t there on film.
Akers has tremendous vision, even though there wasn’t much of a hole to find with the Florida State offensive line, Akers seemed to always make do with what he had. This truly begs the question of how much more he could have accomplished had he been able to run behind the LSU offensive line or anyone’s for that matter with NFL-caliber talent. Akers is so quick-footed which is going to be beneficial at the next level, the fact that he can stop and start on a dime is impressive. He’s a back that is going to finish every run with reckless abandon and he’s going to lay the wood on the offensive side of the ball. He’s got great instincts and an overall feel for the game.
The most important thing Akers possesses that running backs don’t always when they enter the NFL is his ability to help immediately in pass pro. If you have any argument for Darrell Henderson not being an NFL-caliber starter right now, it’s due to his lack of ability in pass pro. He’s got some work to do, I still think he’s a tad underrated but in reality, Akers is just a very well-rounded running back prospect. The Rams are getting a running back you can make your bell cow. What is even more exciting is how he improved each year slowly but surely as a receiving back. He even had a college career-high four touchdown receptions.
It’s worth mentioning the talented running back won’t even turn 21 until June 22nd. Is this the future Rams starting running back? It sure looks like it is.
What is Akers fit with the Rams?
Right off the cuff, Akers is going to be the Rams starter opening day. I don’t have a doubt in my mind. Whether the Rams go running back by committee is uncertain but Akers is going to be the head honcho of the running back room. The thing that is really exciting is just how good that room is adding Akers with Henderson and Brown. Akers being 20 years of age and being the 52nd-overall pick leads me to believe the Rams see a long-term future with the Seminole prospect.
Was this ultimately the right pick for the Rams?
I would say the positional value is the key thing here. First off, the Rams had a myriad of needs and they chose to go after a running back when they spent two third-rounders on one in Darrell Henderson and have an underrated one in Malcolm Brown as it is. I would say Akers is certainly deserving of a pick in the second or third but the fact the Rams kicked off their draft with this pick after sitting out all of the first round yet again, was rather disappointing. After going over Akers again though, I see the fit, I see what Akers brings and I see how if this guy had been in the same situation as a J.K. Dobbins or Clyde Edwards-Helaire, he’s probably in the first round. There are not too many concerns, you can argue he needs to be more refined as a pass-catcher but there aren’t holes in his game. With the Rams having an average-to-below-average offensive line, Akers will be ready for the punishment just from his time with the Florida State Seminoles.
Plays on film
This is a good example of Cam Akers being built to last in the NFL. That 200+ pound back has a great lower base and he runs right through this tackle attempt and then turns on the jets and houses this run. That's 4.46 speed right there… pic.twitter.com/L3xVJvTnwE
— JAKE OLIVER ELLENBOGEN (@JKBogenDTR) April 25, 2020
I don't hate the pick anymore…Just look at what Cam Akers can do in the passing game. He and Henderson in addition to Brown are going to be something else…Just please McVay…Use the running backs! pic.twitter.com/IOQEBSFxAx
— JAKE OLIVER ELLENBOGEN (@JKBogenDTR) April 25, 2020
— Adam Santana (@BoogieJonesMan) April 23, 2020
Cam Akers is so good at creating yards for himself. Playing behind that awful OL at Florida State, he had to do it as often as he could. pic.twitter.com/wU9if1EJAB
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) April 21, 2020
Cam Akers is such an underrated player in this class.
He does everything well and might be the best in the class at creating yards for himself. Tough/strong runner.
If the Steelers want a RB at 49, he’s a great fit.
— Across The Bridge (@ATBPGH) April 17, 2020
Cam Akers is really solid. Brings a little bit of everything to the table. A combo of toughness/physicality, speed, and ability to create yards for himself.
Seems like the most likely fit for the Steelers if they want to go running back early.
— Across The Bridge (@ATBPGH) April 18, 2020
Final Grade: B+
They chose a running back at 52. I don’t love that idea but after further RE-EVALUATION, I think Akers is ultimately way better than I did pre-draft. The fact is, I just went through and watched nine games of his and I’ve concluded that he has small holes in his game, he’s electric with the ball, he’s built perfectly for a running back and he produced behind virtually nothing on the offensive line. He’s going to only get better as time goes on. Whether it makes sense or not to supplant Darrell Henderson, I get it if they fell in love with Akers and feel like Henderson can be a dual piece with him. Akers is point-blank, a weapon. Look at what he was able to do when he had contact behind the line of scrimmage, now let’s watch when he has time to read his blocks and build up his speed. Watch out. I have a feeling in a Sean McVay offense, Akers can become that of a Pro Bowler.