Rookie Rundown: RB Cam Akers, Florida State

Rookie Rundown: RB Cam Akers, Florida State

NFL Draft

Rookie Rundown: RB Cam Akers, Florida State

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Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Akers was a high school quarterback and running back that scored 149 touchdowns and totaled 13,243 yards. A highly-coveted five-star recruit out of Clinton High School in Mississippi, Akers became the starter at Florida State in his first year. He broke out in his initial season, rushing for 1,025 yards in 2017 and breaking Dalvin Cook’s freshman school record of 1,008 rushing yards.

Akers was the primary back for all three seasons, though his junior year was his busiest and saw him with his heaviest workload of 231 carries and 30 receptions. He turned in 18 touchdowns last season and declared for the NFL draft instead of returning for his senior year.

Height: 5-10
Weight: 217 pounds
40 time: 4.47 seconds

Akers carries all the physical attributes to succeed in the NFL. He was limited at Florida State by a poor offensive line and a team that ended with records of 7-6, 5-7 and 6-7 while he played there. He was afforded just five games with more than 20 carries in his busiest season and produced six 100-yard rushing efforts. Akers was a dynamic back playing on an average team.

Year Games Runs Yards Avg. TD Catch Yards. TD Total Yards Total TDs
2017 13 194 1025 5.3 7 16 116 1 1141 8
2018 12 161 706 4.4 6 23 145 2 851 8
2019 11 231 1144 5.0 14 30 225 4 1369 18

Pros

  • Powerful back that initiates contact
  • Determined if not violent runner that can be a workhorse
  • Elusive in the open field and shows great balance even after contact
  • Shows surprising burst for his size
  • Durable with no significant injuries
  • Great with short yardage, falls forward
  • A natural receiver that can run most routes
  • Has a second gear that can score on any play
  • Better at inside rushing but has a deadly jump cut
  • Three down ability – no need to take him off the field
  • Mature with a high character

Cons

  • Will need work in pass protection
  •  Had some fumbling issues while struggling for more yardage
  • Would try to do too much at times and left yards on the field trying to be too creative

Fantasy outlook

Akers should end up as a second to third-round pick. He projects as a feature back in the NFL though he’ll need at least a season to get used to playing at the higher level. Akers was limited by poor blocking in each of his seasons and the offensive scheme was never very successful in any phase. Akers was a player who was better than almost all of his surrounding team.

Akers is a downhill runner that is best with one-cut and go. His offensive line caused problems and he could be surprising in the NFL if he ends up playing behind superior blockers.  Most of his negatives have come from trying to do too much in an offense that didn’t do him many favors.

So long as he controls his ball security and steps up as a pass blocker, there’s no reason why Akers shouldn’t evolve into a feature back. He could be a starter in Week 1, depending on where he lands.

He’ll offer fantasy value this season and beyond. He could be a sleeper depending on the blocking and scheme of his new team. He’s already been a standout playing on a very average team. He has the potential to be a fantasy starter from the start.

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