Draft 2020 – Pick #1: Cam Akers, RB, Florida State

Player Bio
Akers was a top-10 national recruit after being named the U.S. Army National Player of the Year and Mississippi’s Mr. Football in 2016. The dual-threat quarterback threw for 8,140 yards and 78 touchdowns during his career and ran for 5,103 yards and 71 scores. He broke Dalvin Cook’s school record for freshman rushing in 2017, leading the Seminoles with 1,024 yards (194 carries, 5.3 per, seven touchdowns; 16 receptions, 116 yards, 7.3 average, one touchdown) to earner third-team All-ACC notice. Akers led FSU in rushing again in 2018, though his production was down considerably (161 carries, 706 yards, 4.4 ypc, six touchdowns; 23 receptions, 145 yards, 6.3 average, two touchdowns, five fumbles in 12 games, 10 starts). He looked more like the Akers of 2017 as a junior, receiving second-team all-conference honors after leading FSU with 1,144 rushing yards on 231 carries (5.0 ypc) and 14 touchdowns. Akers also caught 30 passes for 225 yards (7.5 per) and four scores in 11 starts.

Analysis
Draft Projection
Round 2
NFL Comparison
Duke Johnson
Overview

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. Akers has above-average open-field vision once he’s into the second level and looks to run through the tackler’s pads as a finisher. He’s a three-down option with good feel for finding the crease near the goal line, but ball security needs to improve. He can be Leg 1 or 2 of a tandem rushing attack and is one of the more natural runners in the draft.

Strengths
  • Compact, rocked-up build with powerful legs
  • Played behind subpar run blocking and often found his own production
  • Tough finisher who’s able to shred arm tackles and balance through contact
  • Wicked open-field spin move to slip defender
  • Instinctive runner with good feel for run-lane development
  • Multiple cuts and run-lane resets without losing momentum
  • Eyes and feet work in unison
  • Former high school quarterback with trick play potential
  • Sudden feet to elude sudden traffic
  • Nose for the end zone once he’s in range
  • Open-field vision boosts screen-game value
  • Has grit needed to handle pass-blocking duties
Weaknesses
  • Ball security could be a concern for teams
  • Hasn’t displayed chunk play explosiveness over three years
  • Attracts heavy contact rather than slipping it
  • Wide scan of the terrain can cause brief delays to see openings
  • May have been conditioned to look for early escapes due to blocking
  • Productive out of backfield but hands aren’t that natural
  • Has trouble adjusting to throws outside the frame

(Lance Zierlein – NFL.COM)

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