Rams News: PFF Ranks Cam Akers As Most Elusive Rookie Running Back
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams secured a surplus of talent in the backfield by taking Cam Akers in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Rams have indicated that they will be relying on a committee to help fill the void left by running back Todd Gurley this offseason. Although running backs Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson garnered some experience as a 1-2 punch during the 2019 campaign, it is clear that the team was adamant about adding some more firepower to the offense.

There were three running backs taken ahead of Akers in this year’s draft. Pro Football Focus says the Rams managed to pick up the most elusive of the bunch though:

Making people miss wasn’t an added bonus for Akers at Florida State. It was a necessity while running behind one of the worst offensive lines in college football. Comparing college numbers to the NFL is always tricky, but we’ve seen that missed tackle numbers and stats like yards after contact translate well to the NFL. Last season, Akers forced a missed tackle on 32% of his touches and averaged nearly 4 rushing yards after contact per attempt. He’ll likely have to put those skills to use again as a rookie behind a Rams’ offensive line that still has some questions.

There were some questions regarding the Rams’ decision to use their first draft pick on a running back given the significant turnover they had experienced at other positions this offseason. Regardless, it is evident that the potential Akers showed during his time at Florida State was too good to pass up on.

It is encouraging to see that Akers is accustomed to working behind an underwhelming offensive line since this group remains as one of the biggest questions going into the 2020 NFL season. Since the restrictions placed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have offered up its own set of challenges for rookies trying to get accustomed to life in the NFL, he will need to be prepared to take advantage of any touches that come his way.

Brown and Henderson’s familiarity with the system will give them a significant advantage heading into training camp. Of course, it is safe to assume that the Rams would not have taken Akers so early if they did not feel he was capable of making an immediate impact on offense though.