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Dynasty & Redraft: RB Cam Akers, Rams


Faust

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9 hours ago, Faust said:

I don't know who Harris is but he's forgetting that Akeker played behind the worst line in Florida St.'s history. When a player no matter if he's a QB or RB is constantly running for their life because the line can't block criticizing his reads, decisions, or whatever goes out the door! How can anyone properly criticize Akers?????? Like How??? If anything it shows what a great athlete and player he is. The dude was not only ran for his life but gained his yards in-spite of the lack of blocking or much help from his O-line.

Geeeez,

Tex

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7 hours ago, BigTex said:

I don't know who Harris is but he's forgetting that Akeker played behind the worst line in Florida St.'s history. When a player no matter if he's a QB or RB is constantly running for their life because the line can't block criticizing his reads, decisions, or whatever goes out the door! How can anyone properly criticize Akers?????? Like How??? If anything it shows what a great athlete and player he is. The dude was not only ran for his life but gained his yards in-spite of the lack of blocking or much help from his O-line.

Geeeez,

Tex

It’s tough, he’s the only rb to ever deal with bad blocking. You really need to grade him on his high school games.

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Bleacher Report's Brent Sobleski believes that Florida State RB Cam Akers is the biggest "boom-or-bust" prospect at the running back position in the 2020 NFL Draft class.

Tough to argue this one. Akers (5'10/217) was a five-star recruit who had loads of hype when he enrolled at Florida State, and there were flashes on the field that made it very easy to understand why. "As a runner, the 5'10", 217-pound back shows quick, choppy feet, fluid hips, top-end speed (4.47-second 40-yard dash), some creativity working in space and strong legs to run through would-be tacklers," Sobleski writes. He also notes he's a capable receiver who hauled in 69 passes with the Seminoles. However, he also notes that Akers would look "indecisive" at times behind the line-of-scrimmage, and he also has ball-security issues. "Akers' potential falls somewhere between becoming a capable lead back at the next level," Sobleski writes, "or just another option in some team's backfield rotation."

SOURCE: Bleacher Report

Apr 4, 2020, 12:57 PM ET

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Dr. Dan said:

Brooks and Jeremiah are no slouches. This has me intrigued. 

 

Agreed...they are not the type just trying to be different or trying to show how smart they are by going against the grain...Akers is the type of guy where I will be lazy and let where he gets drafted have a big influence on me because I really have a tough time slotting him.

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11 minutes ago, Capella said:

I think I believe that but it’s super close. If Cam played on the teams Dalvin did he’d be a first round pick. 

On a tangent it is amazing how far Florida State has fallen...the thought of them having a bad O-line is almost not believable.

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On 3/26/2020 at 11:43 AM, Faust said:

Waldman says the exact opposite.

1 hour ago, Dr. Dan said:

Have people familiarized themselves with the history of highly drafted RBs that averaged less than 5.0 ypc...

Are you as low on this guy as I am? I've been drafting from 1.06 and 1.07 and skipping him if he falls in mocks.

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1 hour ago, Dr. Dan said:

Have people familiarized themselves with the history of highly drafted RBs that averaged less than 5.0 ypc...

I know that historical data will not project a lot of successful outcomes for highly drafted RBs that averaged less than 5.0 ypc; however, I can’t help but wonder what Akers ypc would have been had he played on a better team with a better offensive line.

Would you be willing to share what the historical data says with college running backs who fall into this category?

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37 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Waldman says the exact opposite.

Are you as low on this guy as I am? I've been drafting from 1.06 and 1.07 and skipping him if he falls in mocks.

I wrote down next to Akers on my RB rankings zone scheme for Akers, so I saw this as well from someone.  I have no idea where I saw this from, however.

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34 minutes ago, smbkrypt24 said:

I wrote down next to Akers on my RB rankings zone scheme for Akers, so I saw this as well from someone.  I have no idea where I saw this from, however.

Joe Bryant posted a free excerpt of Matt Waldman's Rookie Scouting Report where he discusses this at a little bit of length. Check it out at the link in the sidebar on the main page, I think.

Edited by rockaction
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3 hours ago, Dr. Dan said:

I have a 1.07 and I would consider him as the 5th RB off the board and only because my team is void of RB talent. I could very well pass completely and take WR3 at that spot. 

ETA: I likely would pass completely and take WR3... 

@Dr. Dan - Which player is WR3 for you right now?

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23 hours ago, Dr. Dan said:

The names arent very impressive. I can't take credit for the info since I read it somewhere else but...

2019 Lindsay was the only back in the top 20 to have had a sub 5 college ypc

Since 2006: David Montgomery, Alexander Mattison, Kerryon Johnson. Matt Jones, Ryan Williams, Steven Ridley, Ben Tate, Montario Hardesty, Chris Johnson, LeSean McCoy, DeMarco Murray . 

Some decent hits but some big misses... 

Yes, his OL was horrible, but he is way too raw for me. If he ends up a lead back it might be a similar situation to Henry where you have to wait several years. I dont see the immediate success unless he gets a golden landing spot with no competition 

We’re not using hindsight to say that the ones that were considered to be good prospects, that were drafted fairly early, had success in the NFL - although jury is out on Montgomery and Kerryon. The ones that failed had very low expectations to begin with outside of Ben Tate who I remember having buzz.

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52 minutes ago, Dr. Dan said:

I agree that we need to take this information for what it is and nothing more. 

I find it interesting, and perhaps maybe more favorable to Akers than JT, that people who like JT don't downgrade him slightly due to his OL, but those same people will upgrade Akers for his horrible OL.

Montgomery had a pretty bad OL in college. People took his missed tackle statistic and added it to a projected good (better) OL and were drooling. I think something similar is happening to Akers; people are assuming significantly better production in the NFL than college because his OL should be better. That isn't a certainty. 

Akers is very raw, and a guy that owners may have to wait on to get returns. Because he is raw, it means he could very well land in a RBBC situation with an older RB who might have 2 years time on his team. Take ATL for example (minus the "old" and add "injured")

If he's there are the end of round 1, I think he is great value. If I hold 1.07-1.09 I don't think I'm taking him. 

I know some here have him as their RB2 or 3, and would take him top 5. IMO that's a mistake. I'd rather try to trade for him after a disappointing rookie season than burn a high pick on him.

I only ask because I don’t know....how good was the Wisconsin line and what are we using to base that off of? Of SI’s top twenty draft eligible tackles and top 15 interior lineman Wisconsin had one listed. The next two running backs on Wisconsin with the most carries last season averaged almost two yards less per carry than JT. I know historically WI produces good lineman but just curious how we equate that.

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2 hours ago, Dr. Dan said:

Montgomery had a pretty bad OL in college. People took his missed tackle statistic and added it to a projected good (better) OL and were drooling. I think something similar is happening to Akers; people are assuming significantly better production in the NFL than college because his OL should be better. That isn't a certainty. 

The Bears OL was horrendous last year, as was Trubisky, as was their playcalling. I can't imagine a worse landing spot (I didn't think so at the time) for someone that has this question mark coming out of college. The only way to know the answer is to put them behind a good pro OL. But that may or may not happen. So yeah it makes it murky for trying to value and rank Akers.

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2 hours ago, Dr. Dan said:

I agree that we need to take this information for what it is and nothing more. 

I find it interesting, and perhaps maybe more favorable to Akers than JT, that people who like JT don't downgrade him slightly due to his OL, but those same people will upgrade Akers for his horrible OL.

Montgomery had a pretty bad OL in college. People took his missed tackle statistic and added it to a projected good (better) OL and were drooling. I think something similar is happening to Akers; people are assuming significantly better production in the NFL than college because his OL should be better. That isn't a certainty. 

Akers is very raw, and a guy that owners may have to wait on to get returns. Because he is raw, it means he could very well land in a RBBC situation with an older RB who might have 2 years time on his team. Take ATL for example (minus the "old" and add "injured")

If he's there are the end of round 1, I think he is great value. If I hold 1.07-1.09 I don't think I'm taking him. 

I know some here have him as their RB2 or 3, and would take him top 5. IMO that's a mistake. I'd rather try to trade for him after a disappointing rookie season than burn a high pick on him.

I can't speak for others but I am one of the higher ones on Akers so here's my view of how I see him panning out.  

I'm upgrading him a little based on poor O-line like you mentioned for sure.  But I am not seeing it as a huge boom to his value.  His value is tied into his really good receiving ability along with a better overall body type for RB1 potential than someone like Swift for example.  His floor is safer due to being productive in a rather awful situation AND being one of the best pass catching RB's in this class.  I don't think he's very raw at all.  

Worst case he goes to a team viewed as a bad situation, proves some worth as a passing down guy and is Miles Sanders' rookie year with probably less rushing.  Maybe 500/500 at best for a bad situation. 

Situation seems to matter more for RB's than WR's so I definitely factor that in, but even in a bad situation I think Akers is rather safe to maintain value.  Taylor for example might not get the same favor in a bad situation since his value is directly related to his rushing ability rather than his versatility.  He can catch, but it'll be something he needs to prove.  Akers, much less so.  

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Speaking with The Athletic's Bob McGinn, one scout said that Florida State RB Cam Akers "persevered through [a nightmare]" with the Seminoles.

"[Akers] went to FSU when they were riding high and the whole program fell apart around him... Terrible line. He was getting hit before the ball got to him," the scout told McGinn, calling the 5-foot-10, 217-pounder a "[heck] of a player." Giving a more critical angle on Akers, another scout voiced concerns over Akers' "toughness and run instincts." To which we'll throw back the rejoinder that Akers' toughness was inherent in the circumstance. Contrast him with J.K. Dobbins, who worked in an elite offense, backed by an elite defense, coached by one of the best offensive minds in the country. And while Akers' run instincts might not be fully formed, that can again be explained by circumstance. It's easy to look "instinctual" when everything is going your way. 

SOURCE: The Athletic

Apr 22, 2020, 4:01 PM ET

 

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Rams selected Florida State RB Cam Akers with the No. 52 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Akers (5’10/217) entered Florida State as a dual-threat quarterback but successfully transferred his 71st-percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism to the running back position. Despite being limited by the Seminoles’ painful offense, Akers had three seasons with at least 840 total yards and eight touchdowns. His best year by far came last season as a junior, finishing with 1,114 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Per PFF, 3.9 of his 4.9 yards per carry came after contact, too. On top of being an impressive runner, he showed promise as a pass-catcher. Akers compiled a very nice 69 receptions across his three seasons, including 30 in his final year. Given the position change and the offense that was around him, it’s possible that Akers makes another leap in the NFL, especially since he will only be a 21-year-old rookie. Akers's skillset projects him with three-down upside, but he'll have to compete with both Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown this upcoming season. Fortunately, he has the athleticism to move ahead of both in camp.

Apr 24, 2020, 8:36 PM ET

 

 

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2020 NFL Draft: Love-Packers, Dobbins-Ravens among top 10 fits

Excerpt:

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4) Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Drafted No. 52 overall (Round 2)

The Florida State standout is a perfect match for Sean McVay's zone-based running game as a one-cut runner with body control, balance and burst. Akers quietly put together a pair of 1,000-yard seasons behind a suspect offensive line due to his creativity, toughness and stamina. With the Rams, he steps into a better situation with a scheme that suits his talents and a coach looking to reclaim his title as one of the game's best play designers. If the Rams also tap into his explosive skills as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, particularly in the screen game, Akers could quickly become a household name as one of the best young running backs in football.

 

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He has the look athletically. Compact with a smooth stride and a nice lateral slide. The testing numbers are solid.

I thought he looked talented coming out of HS and then he popped right away at FSU. The problem is that he never really got any better. Some of it was obviously the supporting cast and coaching being awful. They didn't put him in position to succeed. On the other hand, his stats are just pitiful. Even with a bad supporting cast, you would expect a guy like this to get his share of big plays on talent alone, and he just didn't. He was remarkably unproductive.

It's such a strange one for me. In terms of body type, movement, and testing numbers, he looks like a quality pro prospect. Yet it never really came together on the field. If you're drafting him, I think you have to hope that FSU was just so pitiful that they were hiding his true talent level.

In terms of comparisons, I'm going with Tre Mason as the floor and Devonta Freeman as the ceiling. Like those guys, Akers is a compact back with decent quickness/speed/power, but no elite physical traits. For a guy with 4.4x speed, he doesn't really look explosive and didn't break a lot of long runs in college. I don't see him ever really being a Pro Bowl type, but there's a scenario where he becomes a viable pro starter.

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CAM AKERS RB, LOS ANGELES RAMS

Coach Sean McVay said "we feel we've got three really good backs" while discussing the Rams' backfield.

McVay is referring to 2020 second-round pick Cam Akers, 2019 third-round pick Darrell Henderson and long-time backup Malcolm Brown. Todd Gurley only missed one game last season, and Brown worked well ahead of Henderson by playing 67% of the offense's snaps. Gurley otherwise commanded at least 70% of the offense's snaps in 10-of-15 games. Still, Brown was easily the more active backup, playing at least 20% of the offense's snaps in eight games compared to just two for Henderson. New OC Kevin O'Connell isn't a stranger to dealing with complicated RB situations after running the Redskins' offense in 2019. For now, we'd bet on Akers being the better fantasy value when it's all said and done, but Brown could offer some early-season value when also considering average draft position.

SOURCE: ESPN.com

May 4, 2020, 11:08 AM ET

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Faust said:

CAM AKERS RB, LOS ANGELES RAMS

Coach Sean McVay said "we feel we've got three really good backs" while discussing the Rams' backfield.

McVay is referring to 2020 second-round pick Cam Akers, 2019 third-round pick Darrell Henderson and long-time backup Malcolm Brown. Todd Gurley only missed one game last season, and Brown worked well ahead of Henderson by playing 67% of the offense's snaps. Gurley otherwise commanded at least 70% of the offense's snaps in 10-of-15 games. Still, Brown was easily the more active backup, playing at least 20% of the offense's snaps in eight games compared to just two for Henderson. New OC Kevin O'Connell isn't a stranger to dealing with complicated RB situations after running the Redskins' offense in 2019. For now, we'd bet on Akers being the better fantasy value when it's all said and done, but Brown could offer some early-season value when also considering average draft position.

SOURCE: ESPN.com

May 4, 2020, 11:08 AM ET

....and so it begins.

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17 hours ago, Faust said:

It’s something that Rams general manager Les Snead took into account when Los Angeles selected him 52nd overall last week.

One of the things you really appreciate about him is, they struggled a little bit at Florida State these last few years, wasn’t as stout upfront on the OL,” Snead said on a conference call after Day 2 of the draft. “He was one of their better players. A lot of teams went into those ACC matchups saying, ‘We’ve got to stop that man.’ They had a hard time stopping him, so you get an appreciation for someone who looks like he’s enjoying running into, I call it a lot of defenders. A little bit more defenders than maybe guys at Clemson run into based on the skill they have on the field.”

It’s a smart take from Snead, and it’s certainly relevant when evaluating Akers’ game. He was the focal point of Florida State’s offense and the guy that defenses targeted each week. He won’t have that sort of target on his back as a rookie, but his experience in a terrible offense will help him transition to the NFL.

At the next level, Akers isn’t going to have huge running lanes. Defenders up front are bigger and faster, and linebackers are much better and smarter in the NFL than they are in college. Akers is used to seeing smaller running lanes from his time at FSU, which will make the jump to the NFL easier.

Snead touched on that point while on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week, pointing out that despite Florida State’s offensive line being subpar, Akers still found yards and had success.

“I do know that his offensive line was a little less than what you’re used to and he was one of the better skill players on that team, so when you went to watch him play football, you could definitely tell there were some ACC defenses that were loading that box going, ‘OK, we’ve got a good chance of beating Florida State today if we slow this guy down, and they had a hard time doing it,” Snead said.

“The thing that translates to the NFL is, he did a nice job – take all the stuff you said out of it, with the vision, patience, short-area quickness – to find daylight when there wasn’t a lot there, and that’s probably going to be more what he’s going to see in the NFL because there’s not a lot of space in this league. He took advantage of that and he’s probably used to running into some more NFL-like spacing than some other players in the draft.”

Part of the reason Akers is so effective against stacked boxes is his physicality. While he doesn’t have the size that Todd Gurley does, Akers often falls forward and gains yards after contact. In fact, of his 1,144 yards on the ground last season, 904 came after contact. He averaged 3.91 yards after contact per attempt, which was No. 4 among draft-eligible running backs.

You can see in this four-play sequence from a film cut-up that he’s great at carrying defenders forward and gaining yards after first contact.

Leading up to the draft, Akers wasn’t put in the same group as Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jonathan Taylor and D’Andre Swift by most experts. Even J.K. Dobbins was ranked ahead of him on the majority of boards.

But the Rams like the fact that he has experience running in less-than-ideal situations behind underwhelming offensive lines. Los Angeles doesn’t boast a strong set of blockers up front, but it’s better than the one FSU had. And as Akers transitions from college to the NFL, that aspect of his game should help.

 

I'm a fan, I plan to take him with one of me picks but I haven't decided which back I will be passing on.

Tex

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1 minute ago, Dr. BD said:

The fact that they were debating taking a RB in the 4th shows, to me, that they didn't approach this pick as a "need" as many people have stated the pick signaled. It shows, to me, that they wanted to take a RB at some point, but found the best value was Akers in the 2nd. I firmly believe this is going to be a RBBC and someone will eventually emerge as the lead back. Akers has the draft pedigree. Brown and even Henderson have the experience that Akers is unlike to have to start the season. If I had to bet on who would emerge, it would be Akers, but even then I am still not confident in him being a workhorse type back. I'm a fan of Henderson, but the fact that he underwhelmed to the point where they felt they needed to take a RB somewhere is an obvious red flag, but (again) the fact that they were entertaining a 4th round rookie signals that they weren't completely disappointed in Henderson. To start the year, it's anyone's backfield IMO. 

As a Henderson owner everywhere, I can see myself hedging my bet and going with Akers, but at the same time they could just cannibalize each other

See this almost 180 off from you.

This tells me the  Rams went into the draft clearly focused on drafting a RB. That signals a need.

Snead offered up a suggestion of a third down type/RBBC type like Perine for a 4th or or Akers in the two and the scout and ultimately the Rams opted for the workhorse. That signals the exact opposite of a RBBC.

McVay has been the Rams HC for 3 seasons now.  During the SB run when Gurley returned from his injury and CJ Anderson was hot is the only time during his 3 seasons he's shown he is inclined to use a RBBC.

In a year they wanted to utilize load management with Gurley and spend a high draft pick on Henderson he was very close to a total zero last year in games both Brown and Gurley were active.  Again in a year they wanted to cut back on Gurley's load if you take just  his the 15 games he  played he averaged about 73% of the snaps, Brown around 20% and Henderson 2%.

I see nothing in who they drafted,  when he was drafted, one of the reasons cited for drafting him where they did or McVay's past RB usage to make me think this is a RBBC and absolutely  zero evidence to suggest 3 RB's would ever  be involved weekly.

One other thought I had regarding Henderson, who I do think is in contention to be the 20-25% COP. I believe, for whatever reason(s), they are down on him. This should not be a hot take considering he could not surpass Malcolm Brown at any point last year and they just took a RB in round 2. But when they drafted him I believe they were among league leaders in 3 WR formations and now seem to be shifting to more 12 personnel.  My belief is they  were already down on him but this did not help, his style of running seems more suited for more wide open 3 WR formations. I just mention that as possibility in their thought process and what led them to believe RB was a need was both what they saw or did not see in Henderson last year and realization that the offense they drafted Henderson to perform in last year was undergoing a lot of changes that was making him less of a fit then they had in mind when they drafted him.

I don't own Akers in dynasty. Own Henderson just one one team, Malcolm Brown on another.  Just wanted to say this not coming from an Akers bias perspective.

I do own Akers in redraft. A lot.  So if people think bias is impacting me on that so be it but for me I got Akers clearly as rookie RB2 in redraft and closer to rookie RB1 then rookie RB3, with CEH as that 1 and Taylor as that 3. Again that's redraft.

I'm way more puzzled in dynasty and have an extremely difficult time trying to sort out Akers vs Swift and Dobbins and now that my drafting season is about over probably won't ever have to again. I like the long term futures for the latter two, the short term for Akers more. If asked to rank them  3-5 I'd give you a different answer depending on day you asked me and that's mainly because I believe Akers is positioned to be a workhorse this year and the other two are stuck in RBBC's or worse for at least this year. Injuries aside of course.

 

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