The Los Angeles Rams released Todd Gurley this offseason, but are replacing him with Florida State’s Cam Akers. They selected the running back with the No. 52 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he has a chance to compete for a starting spot against Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson Jr.
Akers rushed for 1,144 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns at Florida State in 2019. Both those marks were career highs in his third year with the team. He also notched career highs in carries (231), receptions (30), receiving yards (225), and receiving touchdowns (4). Akers led the Seminoles in rushing yards for three straight seasons.
Akers excelled beyond a mediocre offensive line at Florida State thanks to his vision. But the creativity he often utilizes can be confusing to his teammates. He can often become too impatient and tries to do more than necessary to create space for himself from time to time. His pass protection is on of the areas he needs to work on most.
Fantasy football impact
Brown and Henderson didn’t seem suited to replace Gurley’s level of production, and Akers can be more effective than either back. Brown and Henderson combined for 402 rushing yards last season, and neither is a three-down back. Akers can be that though, and he might finishes as a top two fantasy running back among rookies if he’s able to establish himself. The Rams’ passing attack is too dominant for him to be a RB1 in standard leagues.
Akers has as much of a chance as D’Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, and other to be successful in the pros. None of them are truly elite prospects. He has a better body than Swift for running between the tackles and outclasses Taylor in pass catching. He’s also strong and elusive enough to make would-be tacklers miss in more ways than one. PFF graded Florida State’s offensive line as the second wort unit in the country last season. If Akers even gets an average group up front, he could be a top 15 running back — as a starter of course.