Florida State tailback Cam Akers is headed to Los Angeles as a second-round pick (52nd overall) of the Rams.
Akers ran for 2,875 yards and 27 touchdowns in three seasons at Florida State, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He averaged 3.32 yards after contact per rush in his career, according to ESPN. That number shows his ability to break arm tackles willingness to fight for yards between the tackles.
“I’m somebody who can come in and be a game changer,” Akers told LA Rams beat writers just minutes after he was selected. “Be everything this team and the fans need me to be and everything they’re expecting me to be.”
Akers said he talked with the Rams on FaceTime a few times during the pre-draft process.
At FSU, Akers put together a pair of 1,000-yard seasons. He did it as a freshman, crossing the mark in FSU’s bowl game and doing it despite coming off the bench the majority of the season. And last year, Akers ran for career highs in yards (1,144) and touchdowns (14) while also grabbing 30 receptions for 225 yards and four receiving touchdowns.
“Runs with an attitude,” ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick said. “Tremendous lower body strength. A guy that will break through arm tackles. A guy who will run in Sean McVay’s zone scheme as well as you could possibly have a running back run. … This guy sets a tone.”
The LA Rams are replacing Todd Gurley, who they cut in March. Gurley ran for 877 of the Rams’ 1499 rushing yards in 2019.
Akers’ ability to accumulate yards despite FSU’s history of offensive line struggles in past years was noted by analysts on the draft broadcast.
“He had to earn every inch of that real estate,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. “A kid that can make defenders miss.”
The Seminoles have had at least one NFL Draft pick every year since 1971.
FSU went into the 2020 NFL Draft with just five offensive players selected in the last four drafts combined: OT Rick Leonard, OT Roderick Johnson, RB Dalvin Cook, WR Auden Tate and TE Ryan Izzo.
But FSU has consistently produced draft picks at running back with five since 2013: Cook (2017, second round to Minnesota); Karlos Williams (2015, fifth round to Buffalo); Devonta Freeman (2014, fourth round to Atlanta); Chris Thompson (2013, fifth round to Washington).