2020 NFL Draft: FSU RB Cam Akers Player Profile and Analysis
Cam Akers is a player that everyone wanted. Ranked as the number three overall player in the 2017 recruiting cycle according to 247 sports composite, Akers had offers from all of the top schools. Akers chose Florida State and was the presumptive heir apparent following Dalvin Cook. He would spend two seasons splitting carries with Jacques Patrick starting in 2017 where Akers cracked a 1000 yds as a true freshman breaking the FSU record for most yards by a freshman running back previously held by Dalvin Cook. Akers would garner third-team All ACC honors. In 2018, Akers split time for the second season in a row with Jacques Patrick and took a dip in production from 2017 by nearly 300 rushing yds playing behind one of the nation's worst offensive lines. The 2018 FSU offense ranked 103rd in total offense (361 yds per game). The offensive line surrendered 103 TFL's (128th), and 36 sacks (109th). In 2019, the Noles offensive line surrendered 111 TFL's (127th), and 48 sacks (126th). They could not block a soul in the last two seasons. Florida State Not Good at Football Recently The current version of FSU is not your father's FSU. Florida State has not played winning football since Jimbo Fisher took off to the Texas A&M money machine. Under Willie Taggert, the Seminoles declined winning five games in 2018, and four under Taggert before he was let go during the season in 2019. Akers was well on his way under the Jimbo Fisher Regime in 2017 as a true freshman, but after Jimbo departed, Akers declined the following year under Willie Taggert's offensive system. Akers adapted well enough to recover and put up good numbers with a bad team in 2019. Per NFL.com Despite a disappointing win-loss record and a lack of blocking up front, Akers maintained a consistent level of play that represents his football character. He runs with tempo and flow but alters his rush track at a moment's notice when needed. He is elusive but lacking the instant burst of a slasher capable of stacking long runs in a single game. Cam Akers NFL Draft Player Profile A natural running back, Akers is a rocked up and compact player who possesses good vision as a runner. Akers has three-down potential but needs to improve ball security. He plays behind his pads, punishing defenders once he enters the 2nd and third levels of the defense. Akers maintained consistency playing behind a weak offensive line throughout his time in Tallahassee. Cam Akers Strengths Natural RB body with a rocked-up build Played behind a poor offensive in each of his three seasons Plays behind his pads can punish 2nd and 3rd level defenders Capable pass protector An instinctive runner with a good feel for run-lane development Cam Akers Improvement Areas Ball security issues need to improve has not shown explosive playability most expected from him coming out of high school. Needs to work on making defenders miss rather than trying to run through them. Possesses good vision, but needs to be more decisive at times Needs to work on his receiving ability out of the backfield, Not a natural receiver but can improve As the game goes on, Cam Akers does not The great running backs at every level of football can take over and finish a game; unfortunately for Cam Akers, he played for a terrible team that rarely led consistently playing from behind in half of their contest throughout his three years at FSU. Akers was still effective in closer matchups throughout 2019. In 7 games where FSU was at least tied at some point with their opponent, Akers averaged 6.1 yds per attempt and scored 5 TDs.
Akers yards per attempt average peaked in the third QTR of games where he averaged 6 yards per attempt ranking him 18th among all FBS RB's with at least 1000 total rushing yards in 2019. Akers's average would fall off in the 4th QTR, where he averaged 4.13 yards per attempt where he ranked 39th among all FBS RB's with 1000 yards or more during the 2019 season. Conclusion: Akers has NFL starter potential. He has to improve his game as a receiver. He is a very capable receiver but is not a natural receiver. If he gets comfortable in a season or two as a receiver, he has a brighter future. Akers posted a 4.47 forty at the combine and that blew some scouts away. Playing behind a poor offensive line throughout his three years in Tallahassee, he didn't get many opportunities to show off his explosive ability. in the right situation with good blocking, we might finally get to see more of what Akers can do when he has space to show his speed more consistently.