Cam Akers' Fantasy Football Value Got a Big Lift

With the 52nd pick overall in the NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams replaced the recently departed Todd Gurley by selecting running back Cam Akers from Florida State. Akers caps off his rise up the positional rankings, going as the fourth running back off the board in the 2020 draft.

Combine Mover and Shaker

Akers entered the NFL Combine mixed in with the large group of second tier running backs. He then put on an impressive performance, running a 4.47 40-yard dash, the fifth-best of all running backs, and flashed quick feet during the Duce Staley drill.

Akers earned the praise of Seminole fans, running hard behind awful offensive lines at Florida State, and showed some versatility catching 69 passes across 36 games. Akers battled a sprained ankle during his sophomore year, which explains his struggles during that season, but he finished his career on a positive note with 1,369 total yards and 18 touchdowns on 261 touches in 2019. At 5'10" and 217 pounds, Akers has the size to hold up to a heavy workload, and profiles as a potential three-down running back.

Akers on the Rams

The Rams used a third-round pick on Darrell Henderson just last year, and despite preseason hype, Henderson totaled just 39 rushing attempts and four targets in the passing game across 13 games. On a Rams offense that was desperately looking for a spark for much of the season, Henderson's lack of usage is concerning. Malcolm Brown remains on the depth chart, but he has never reached 300 yards rushing or 10 total receptions across his five-year NFL career, and he should be viewed as no more than a backup.

As a second-round pick, Akers slots in as the potential starting running back on an offense that once set the league on fire. Even in a year in which the offense struggled, a diminished Gurley still managed 14 total touchdowns in 2019 despite just 1,064 total yards from scrimmage. While this shouldn't be considered the Rams' offense of old and Akers isn't the prospect that Gurley was out of Georgia, this is still an excellent landing spot for Akers.

Akers likely slots in as the third- to fifth-best rookie running back at this point of the draft -- with upside for more.