Devy Watch: RB Cam Akers, Florida State

Background

Cam Akers

RB, Florida State

5’11” 213 lbs

Freshman

Draft Eligible: 2020

The Florida State Seminoles have been blessed with running back talent in recent seasons and they continue to bolster that position year after year. Devonta Freeman and Dalvin Cook immediately come to mind and the former has been very productive in the NFL. Cook looks to follow Freeman but with an instant impact. The Seminoles currently have runners like Jacques Patrick and Amir Rasul and most would be perfectly fine with the type of play those two backs are able to bring to the game but Jimbo Fisher has bigger plans. He landed the best RB prospect in the ‘17 class and maybe the best high school RB I have ever seen with my own eyes. They have a ton of depth but in steps Cam Akers, a remarkable talent with the makeup of an elite player. Akers staged as a wildcat QB in high school and put up transcendent numbers. Akers hails from Clinton, Mississippi, where he finished his four-year varsity career by passing for 8,140 yards and 78 touchdowns while rushing for 5,103 yards and 71 scores. By the end of the recruiting process leading up to signing day, all of the scouting outlets finally got it right by featuring Akers as the nation’s number 1 running back. I’ll share my thoughts and how it pertains to the developmental side of dynasty football.

Strengths

Akers shows elite athleticism, the ability to create, tremendous initial burst with breakaway speed and a powerful lower half. The test numbers on Akers’ ESPN recruiting profile show he ran a 4.41 40 and posted a 40.6” vertical at 5’11 213 lbs. Akers being a wildcat QB in high school with the ability to throw allowed him to constantly control the ball and the flow of the game. He ran out of wildcat for most of his career and showcased his knack for finding the hole, following his blockers and not getting ahead of himself. Patience and vision are two areas in Akers game that allowed him to be so successful. A back can have all the physical gifts in the world but if they’re not smart and technical with what they do it sometimes goes to waste. Fortunately, Akers is both. When getting to the second level, he creates for himself with masterful cuts, elite stop and go, and precise lateral movements. In other words, his change of direction is well above average and he’s able to put his foot in the ground and turn on a dime. Other runners tend to stutter or need to build up to get around the corner but Akers’ tilt and flexibility allow him to get wherever he wants to go in a split second. Outside of his ability to elude defenders Akers can win with physicality and brings that tenacious mentality we love in running backs. There are times Akers looks like he wants to hurt the defender and has that “get off me” look to his game with his vicious stiff arm and compact build. He is able to keep a very good pad level and balance throughout his runs which keep defenders guessing whether he’ll run them over or put them on skates. He is consistently gaining yards after contact and I have yet to see him get stopped in his tracks by the first tackler. One thing you want to see is those hidden yards created by a running back who frequently falls forward after contact. In the open field, Akers sets up defenders well and has the breakaway speed to outrun defensive backs. Akers did show that he can run routes and catch the ball during U.S. Army All-American practice. He releases well and has quick breaks throughout his routes while showing he can go up and catch the ball with his hands. That is something he wasn’t asked to do in high school so it was good to get a glimpse of him performing those drills.

Here are a few clips of Cam Akers as a runner:

His feet and body follow his mind tick for tack.

Shows his cutting ability, vision, burst, stiff arm and breakaway speed.

Akers does a complete 180 on this cut and takes it in for a score.

This is one of the runs that shows that “get off me” mentality from Akers.

Final clip, Akers has very good balance on this run and keeps his legs driving to carry a pile of tacklers.

Inexperience

There is a lot left to be determined for Akers in terms of becoming an all-around back because he wasn’t asked to take handoffs in high school or pass protect. There might be a bit of a learning curve in those two areas for him in college but for someone of his makeup it should come easily as he gains experience. Reading defenses and picking up blitzers is only the first part, but actually knowing your assignment and being able to protect your QB by sliding into the right position makes a huge difference in the outcome of a game for your team. I won’t knock Akers too much for these things because it’s not like he can’t do it, he just wasn’t asked to do so. That being said we shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out if there are any weaknesses to Akers’ game because he should get a lot of playing time during his freshman year.

Conclusion

Akers is my 5th ranked Devy RB and that might be steep because he hasn’t played a college game yet but he looks to be well worth it in terms of value. A player of this magnitude isn’t common and I have nothing against the current runners at Florida State but Akers is hands down the best talent. Despite the crowded backfield, we should see production from him his freshman year. His blend of power, speed, agility and balance is really jaw dropping. Akers has a chance to be one of the better RB prospects in the past decade and possibly the best RB in college by his sophomore year. With the depth at WR in upcoming classes, this might push Cam Akers down to the front half of the second round in Devy Drafts. If that happens, take advantage of it.

If my work has helped your research or you simply enjoyed it, please consider donating. Thank you.

 

lawrence_chaney

North West born and raised. Sports are everything to me. Took up scouting a few years back and fell in Love with it. Try my best to use the knowledge I have to contribute to the Devy section for DFF.

View all lawrence_chaney's Posts

Leave a Comment

(required)

(required)

%d bloggers like this: