Everyone has their ‘draft crushes’ leading up to the NFL Draft. This is mine. The Detroit Lions have shown plenty of interest in Utah’s Zack Moss, but I feel Florida State’s Cam Akers is a much better prospect and a much-more well rounded running back.
Akers is the whole package, he’s a violent runner, and he can catch the football out of the backfield. He has the potential to be a three-down back in his first year, thanks to tremendous pass protection improvement over the last two seasons.
Akers ran behind an awful offensive line throughout his entire collegiate career. After averaging 5.3 yards per carry in his freshman year galloping for 1015 yards and seven touchdowns, he had a sophomore slump racking up just 707 yards on 162 carries recording six touchdowns.
Last season as a junior, Akers regained his freshman form despite having to overcome tremendous pressure in the backfield. Akers saw the most contact at or behind the line of scrimmage last season in all of college football, yet he still scored 14 rushing touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He totaled a career-high rushing 1142 yards 231 totes. Cam also chipped in making 30 receptions on 38 targets adding another 225 yards.
Akers is a 5’10 runner that plays around 220-pounds. He reminds me a lot of Mark Ingram. With the Seminoles’ he ran in more of a zone offensive scheme but also carried the ball nearly 25 percent of the time behind a man blocking system. Akers forced an eye-popping 76 missed tackles and ran for 904 yards AFTER contact. Akers provided us with a respectable 4.47 40-yard dash time, proving he can produce a beautiful mix of speed and power.
Many will focus on Jonathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and D’Andre Swift likely overlooking Akers, but this kid is going to be a starting NFL running back. Someone is going to get one of the best runners in this draft class at a much lower price than the previously mentioned four.
I don’t think it would take long for Akers to take over as the Detroit Lions primary running back, leaving Kerryon Johnson as a perfect change of pace or third-down back. With Johnson’s injury history, it will benefit him to have his role limited, plus he will have an opportunity to be much more effective in a limited role.