Cam Akers is the Top Rookie Running Back
Cam Akers was the fourth running back taken in the 2020 NFL Draft. Now, for most years in the past, being the fourth running back off the board puts you in late first round or early second round. That’s starter/ role territory for just about every position on the field.
But Akers flew under the radar at 52nd overall pick, with the likes of Jonathan Taylor and J.K Dobbins book-ending the pick. Taylor and Dobbins both went to recently successful programs, Wisconsin and Ohio State pumping out NFL talent. On the other hand, Florida State has floundered as a program recently and their top players, such as Akers, have suffered from it. While Taylor talks about Heisman snubs and Dobbins was playing for championships, Akers was taking a beating with no national accolades. The ACC honored him for second and third team All-ACC.
Akers Does Not Need Help to Produce
There’s a reason why everyone thinks so highly of Cam Akers even though his success did not translate into team success. He’s breaks tackles like a literal Ram. Even when I would catch a few games of Florida State, Akers jumped off the screen with his violent running. He knew that he was going to have to fight for every yard with how little help his line gave him. Even with Florida State being a terrible team overall, Akers was must-watch football.
Last year, Akers rushed for the 32nd most rushing yards in college football. Florida State was the 95th ranked rushing attack in the same year. To give perspective, Taylor and Dobbins tied for third-most rushing yards. Taylor’s Wisconsin was ranked 15th and Dobbins’ Ohio State was ranked fifth. Florida State had only Akers in terms of rushing. No one else was rushing for anything when Akers wasn’t on the field, so his offensive line was terrible. If his line was good, Florida State should be closer to 30th-40th ranked rushing attack.
Akers is going to be one of the best running backs of this year, rookie or not. He still succeeded behind a mediocre line and play-calling that was left much to be desired. The Rams were the best place for Akers to land. Even with Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson in the room, they both still did not crack 300 yards on season. Brown did score five touchdowns, but Gurley scored 12 in the same year. Henderson and Brown just don’t make defensive coordinators quake like Akers does.
With Todd Gurley gone and Sean McVay as his play-caller, Akers could take home Rookie of the Year. Take It to the Hizzy ranked Akers 25th so he will be gone after the first tier of running backs are taken. So I recommend you keep your eye on him in the early rounds. He might be snapped up before you realize it.