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Scouting Spotlight: RB Cam Akers

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Will the Bills consider taking a running back with their top pick?

With the draft just over three weeks away, the “Scouting Spotlight” will serve as a highlight of five individual players from possible positions of need that the Buffalo Bills could look to address over the course of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 2020 NFL Free Agency waves have come and gone. The Bills made a multitude of moves to shore up their offensive and defensive lines to go with cornerback as well. We must not forget the blockbuster trade for star wide receiver Stefon Diggs. General manager Brandon Beane has looked to address every hole on the roster. The last hole that still appears to be glaring is a complementary running back to pair with Devin Singletary. Could Florida State RB Cam Akers fill that role and more?


Scouting Report

Akers is one of the most talented backs in the 2020 NFL Draft. He is a former five-star recruit out of Clinton, Mississippi who was recruited out of high school by everyone. He eventually chose the Seminoles and spent three seasons in Tallahassee. He rushed for 1,144 yards averaging five yards per carry and 14 touchdowns his junior year. In addition, he caught 30 passes for 225 yards and four touchdowns.

Strengths

  • Filled out, compact build with a strong lower body
  • He has the explosion to make one cut and completely change his direction
  • Tremendous power behind his pads; forces contact on defenders consistently
  • Bad offensive line in front of him forced him to create runs in many different ways
  • Very good burst; explodes through holes and off-tackle
  • Runs through arm tacklers regularly
  • Has a plan with the ball in his hands once he gets green grass ahead of him
  • Eludes defenders with a very good spin move
  • Always switching his pace to throw off defenders
  • Good, not great long speed
  • Very willing and vicious pass protector
  • Receiving upside is there; has shown flashes of dazzling grabs

Weaknesses

  • A bad offensive line may cause him to see ghosts at the next level and cause him to try and do too much
  • Stumbles a lot off very little or no contact, which causes him to be tackled easily in open space
  • Gets in the way of his quarterback when he attempts to pass protect at times; needs more nuance to his blocking

Overall

Akers has all of the tools and ability to be a starting-level NFL running back. He may need some fine tuning behind an offensive line that actually knows what they’re doing. Solid coaching will train him back into trusting an offensive line again. Akers offers an all-around skill set that any team could use in its system. He’s a rocked up athlete who will do exemplary things with the ball in his hands at the next level.

Draft Projection: Round 2/Round 3

Why He Fits the Bills

Akers would be a seamless fit for the Bills. He can carry a load the likes of which some may argue Devin Singletary cannot. Akers offers the kind of all-around skill set at running back where a team doesn’t miss a beat or change the way its offense formulates when one back comes off the field and Akers enters the huddle. While many would consider Singletary to be an explosive player by all accounts, Akers is the home-run hitter that the Bills desperately missed in 2019.