Rams find Gurley replacement, nab Akers in Round 2

Don Juan Moore / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Los Angeles Rams selected running back Cam Akers out of Florida State in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 52nd overall.

Akers will join a backfield looking to replace Todd Gurley, a three-time Pro Bowler who was released at the beginning of the offseason.

Akers posted a pair of 1,000-yard rushing campaigns in three seasons at Florida State, slashing his way to a career-high 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior.

A lack of explosion from the running game in 2019 hindered the Rams' once-prolific offense. Without Gurley in top form, Los Angeles went from NFC champions in 2018 to out of the playoffs the next year.

The Rams had Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson Jr., and John Kelly at running back prior to drafting Akers.

Prospect Profile

School: Florida State
Height: 5-10
Weight: 217 lbs

Positives

  • Explosive runner who can one-cut and burst through a designed gap
  • Uses quick feet and good change-of-direction skills to juke past defenders and avoid tackles in the backfield
  • Much tougher than his size indicates - he's a well-built athlete who always fights for extra yards and is able to absorb contact
  • Violent runner with good leg drive on short-yardage plays
  • Natural receiver who ran a number of different routes
  • Made the most of a below-average offensive line
  • Extremely elusive in the open field
  • Advanced pass-protector for a college player

Negatives

  • Production was often related to how well his blockers performed in front of him
  • Had issues with drops
  • Bounced a number of runs outside, which worked in college but may not in the NFL
  • Minor ball-security issues - lost fumbles on occasion and a few nearly popped loose

Bottom line

Akers is one of the more intriguing running backs in this year's class. His raw stats don't stack up to some of his peers, but Florida State's blocking unit was incredibly underwhelming during his career. The athletic tailback offers plenty of exciting traits, including a unique change-of-direction ability both behind the line of scrimmage and in the open field. With skills as a receiver and strong reps as a pass-blocker, Akers has three-down potential early in his NFL career.

Comments
Rams find Gurley replacement, nab Akers in Round 2
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox