What About Door No. 3?

March 4th, 2020

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Bruce Arians was understandably peppered with questions about Jameis Winston’s future last week.

Tampa Bay’s head coach kept talking about the mystery behind Door No. 2. May I suggest there is equal intrigue behind Door No. 3, which happens to be the number worn by a running back who’d look sweet in a Buc uniform.

C’mon down, Cam Akers.

Arians was very clear at the combine that he wants a 3-down back this fall, a multi-purpose runner who won’t be devalued on the money down.

Akers, who turned in an impressive 4.47 clocking in Indianapolis, could be a nice pickup on Day 2 of the draft. Throughout Florida State’s brutal 6-7 season that included a coaching change, Akers was a constant force.

“Willing” And Able

His will to excel was evident, and when you factor in his grit along with his physical skills, Akers seems like a natural for Tampa Bay.

Florida State running back Cam Akers has caught the attention of Ira Kaufman

Just ask him.

“Just being an all-around running back,” he says of his NFL goals. “Somebody’s who’s, of course, able to run the ball but another important aspect of running back is being able to block also. I just think I’m a complete back from catching to blocking to running.”

Are ya listening, Bruce?

“I’ve always been a willing receiver,” says Akers, who ran for 102 yards against a solid Florida defense late in FSU’s lost season. “I do a lot of studying of other backs in the league and my peers who also do the job well receiving. I take a lot of notes and pick up a lot from that.”

Akers broke Dalvin Cook’s school record for freshmen with 1,024 rushing yards in 2017. He ran for 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior, adding 30 catches for 225 yards and four more scores.

It’s obvious that Peyton Barber’s time with the Bucs has ended, leaving Ronald Jones as the No. 1 returning back. And while Jones improved in Year 2, Akers would have every chance to be the man in Tampa.

“They (Bucs) like my game a lot,” he says. “They like that I’m a hard-nosed back. I can be the aggressor and I can be elusive when I need to be. They like me as an all-around back, being able to block and being a three-down back.”

Akers patterns his game after two of the league’s elite backs.

“I definitely watch Zeke (Ezekiel Elliott) as far as an all-around back, being able to catch, run and block,” he says. “And Alvin Kamara definitely in the passing game, the way he’s elusive when he gets the ball in his hands.”

When Arians looks at Akers on tape, he might see glimpses of a young David Johnson, who flourished in Arizona’s offense in 2016 with Arians calling the plays.

Franchise Friend

Bucs GM Jason Licht

Akers and another No. 3 well known to Buc fans have a relationship.

“I have spoken to Jameis before, but not recently,” says Akers, a prolific high school quarterback in Mississippi. “I think Jameis is a great quarterback. He had a rough year this last year, but I know he will bounce back. He’s a Seminole and a fighter and that’s what we do. Man, that would be a blessing just to be able to play alongside Jameis.”

Jason Licht says most of the wrong calls on draft prospects are made from the neck up. It’s hard to gauge motivation.

But the more you listen to Akers, the more you realize this kid wants to be great. An episode from the eighth grade reveals his determination.

“I was real dehydrated and was throwing up while I was running,” he says. “Everybody wanted to take me to the hospital but I felt the need the finish the game. I knew I could. I knew my body. I finished the game. It’s not life or death, but you’ve got to look at it that way. You never know when it’s going to be your last, so you have to take advantage of every moment you have. I’m a competitor. An ultimate competitor.”

42 Responses to “What About Door No. 3?”

  1. SmoothBayRider Says:

    Jameis might be behind door #3 .

  2. bojim Says:

    Jameis might be behind door #3 .


  3. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Hell, I’d take door number 9 instead of Winston

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    obviously, JW/FSU joe wrote this…..lol….

    every year “this” joe props up an FSU player…..lol….

    im surprise he hasnt listed any OL or DL from FSU….lol….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  5. 813bucboi Says:

    if aj dillion has hands, he should be the pick in the 4th round….

    we need a bruiser that can get those 3rd&inches….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  6. buc15 Says:

    @813bucboi – yeah just like he propped up Ramsey or Cook right?

  7. NOLES Says:

    You all know I am not afraid to call out a NOLE player but Cam Akers is LEGIT.

    Would love to see him on the BUCS and he doesn’t have a lot of mileage either. He will go in 2nd or 3rd as the run on the RB position starts.

  8. Tye Says:

    Brady door #1
    Rivers #2
    Trade for Carr #3
    Andy Dalton #4
    Tannehill (if available) #5
    Bridgewater #6
    ? #7
    Winston #8 (stuck in same ole irrelevance)

  9. 813bucboi Says:



    cook cant stay healthy and neither can ramsey…did he even play last year?….lol….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  10. Jim Says:

    Ira, stick with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU…

  11. BucsFIRE Says:

    Morgus the Magnificent Says:
    “Hell, I’d take door number 9 instead of Winston”

    Go ahead and take door number 9, Morgus.
    Pay no mind to that swinging anvil back there.

  12. CPN Says:

    Keep shilling for FSU players.

  13. Dewey Selmon Says:

    You know he’d pick door number 6. I just used pick 6 in 1 sentence.

  14. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    I’d wait until rd 3 and take Akers, Clyde, or Dobbins if any of them are there. If not take Antonio Gibson in the 3rd and/or AJ Dillon in the 4th and we are set.

  15. IAMHIM Says:

    Tampa Bay have the worst fans man I swear…

  16. Patrickbucs Says:

    Iamhim – sure you have been doing extensive research on the fans and feedback for all other 31 teams. Why your at it please lmk what Lions, Jets, and Bears are thinking right now for example?

  17. Patrickbucs Says:

    I think Akers in round 2 is a real possibility. Have to wait and see what we do in free agency though first.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Walter Football, for those who’ve never used their analyses, is one of the top sites for evaluating draft prospects IMO. They have 3 RBs projected to go in Rnds 2-3 in this order:

    1 – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (5’8″ & 209 lbs – 4.50 secs 40 time.
    2 – JK Dobbins, Ohio State (5’10” & 214 lbs – 4.50 secs 40 time.
    3 – Cam Akers, FSU (5’11” & 210 lbs – 4.51 secs 40 time.

    When I look at their 2019 performance, Dobbins stands head-and-shoulders above the other two … averaged 6.7 yards per carry in 2019 for 2,003 yards with 21 TDs, plus he had 23 receptions for 247 yards and two TDs.

    Doubt that he’ll last until Rnd 3, so Bucs best grab him in Rnd 2 IMO. Draft one of the big tackles in Rnd 1, plus I’d love to see us draft AJ Dillon ALSO in Rnd 4 (admittedly he’ll probably be a FB, but the kid (6′ & 245 lbs) reminds me a lot of Mike Alstott. Rushed for 1,685 yards in 2019 for BC, plus added 195 yards receiving on only 13 catches. My guess is that he knows how to block too. Projected to go in Rnds 3-5.

  19. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Please dont forget about the bruising back from Wisconsin!
    5’10 and 230 lbs with a 4.47 40!

  20. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Chris you must be referring to Jonathan Taylor and the beast ran a 4.39.

  21. Pewter power Says:

    Just dont spend a first round pick on a running back. 2nd I could live with but third is sweet spot. The only reason we would need to be a running team with all these weapons is the quarterback see 23 pewter jerseys and will throw it to anyone. 3red round back that can pass protect please and thank you but no more undrafted rookies logging critical playing time

  22. Buczilla Says:

    We’ve had damn good success with players from FSU and once they become Buccaneers, I immediately forgive them for going there. Kidding aside, this dude looks like he’d make one hell of a third round pick.

  23. bucfan34 Says:

    Go Bucs!!

  24. Eric Says:

    Brad Johnson

    The FSU well has been pretty good for us.

    Akers has the skill set Bruce likes. Can stay in the game all 3 downs.

    Snag him in the second.

  25. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Rather have Dobbins.

  26. james west Says:

    jonathan taylor

  27. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Number 3 in Round 3?

  28. Tbbucs3 Says:

    It’s honestly pathetic to watch fans gush over a smug egotistical Brady who has shown and will continue to show 0 signs of interest in ever wearing a Bucs uniform….. absolutely pathetic.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    James West … “Jonathan Taylor”. He’s projected as a Rnd 1-2 pick. I like him too James, but there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be there when we pick #13 in Rnd 2. Dobbins is projected as a Rnd 2-3 RB.

    (PS: You wouldn’t happen to be using 2 different names for JBF.com comments, would you? If not, Jeagan1999 must’ve been reading your mind).

  30. SteveK Says:

    Any of Taylor, Dobbins, or Swift in the first two picks would be ideal. I’d even be ok with trading back a couple spots of one of the top 3 QBs isn’t there, or top 4 OTs., Chaison, or Kinlaw are all gone.

  31. PUGS&BUCS Says:

    Ironic that Licht might not want to let ANOTHER FSU RB get away from him.

  32. MadMax Says:

    Clyde…..just draft Clyde!!!!

  33. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Eric do not forget lawrence dawsey, casey weldon, greg spires, geno hayes, dekoda watson, & SB MVP dexter jackson

  34. Pete Mitchell Says:

    Isn’t the cat from Clemson in this draft? Travis Etienne (spelling). I don’t see his name mentioned anywhere, he carried that team for a couple games as Lawrence was not quite up to tue standard he set last year. Maybe he’s coming back for another year or something.

  35. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Pete- Etienne stayed in school. He would’ve been the cream of this RB crop.

  36. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Give me Akers. I like the production of a back that faced stacked boxed with zero blocking and zero QB threat and still managed to be productive. Otherwise, I would take AJ Dillon. The sane could be said for him. Problem with him is that he sucked at pass blocking and was sidelined on passing downs. Fortunately, you dont put him in for passing downs. You put him in to let LBs get faces full of thighs.

  37. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    SHOUT OUT to @IRA for recognizing Cam Akers. Ran behind a non-existent O-Line at FSU for 3 years, and by will and force, gained positive yards. Dude can run, block and catch. CAM for BUCS!

  38. catcard202 Says:

    I honestly cannot imagine Licht drafting any of the big time “state school” players. He has been burnt by buying locally & now seems to go out of his way to avoid “FL” schools on draft day.

    He likes FL born players that went away from FL & are coming home…But not ones that are at FSU / UF / MIA / UCF / USF – straight out the shoot….(JW3’s tenure has been a success story compared to VH3 & Aguayo. That trifecta sure has taken a few yrs of the lo’ticker & multiple layers of stomach lining, from me…I can only imagine what Mr.GM’s life has been like.)

    But Cam Akers looks like a STUD. I see him as the best back in the draft.
    Swift is elusive & explosive in his jump cuts. Taylor is fast & strong down hill. Edwards has grit, WR hands & routes. Dillion has POWER in his game… Cam Akers has all that rolled onto 1 & is the best pass protect RB in the draft.

    Sure hope he slides to #76 & makes it a hell of a hard pick to pass up on! Slide him in next to RoJo & you go something there.

    Jerry Clower Howl – Knock Him Out John….For you millennial’s – Google & appreciate!

    Just don’t think it happens. Sad face 🙁

    FO will wait til day3 & look for value among the island of misfit tools.
    & I honestly cannot blame them if they do wait til Day3 or UDFA.

    RoJo should be “The Guy” in 2020…a 20+ touches kind of RB that gets 1200-1500yds+ total off & 10tds…He’s grown into his man body & isn’t the “kid” he was 2yrs ago…So, finding a Day 3 complimentary RB piece shouldn’t be an issue.

    However, regardless of Day 3 RB…Would still rather see the FO pull either Lynn Bowden or Antonio Gibson for a Slot-Back-Wildcat-Returner role… I think either would open up a new dimension to the offense & offer “position-less football” versatility for BA/Leftwich to take advantage of. (mismatch-makers)

  39. Allbuccedup Says:

    Jordan Loves behind door #3

  40. Mister Negative Nancy Says:

    I’d have some questions about a guy who’s proud he didn’t get medical treatment when he needed it.

  41. LordCornelius Says:

    Akers ran behind the worst O-lines in college football and still produced and popped big plays.

    If he was on a good team with a decent O-line then he likely would have had insane statistics.

  42. Joe beetch Says:

    Why would Joe allow pure hate comments directed at Ira? You made your point multiple times. This space isn’t for what you want to throw out there. Go complain about Ira on Reddit, Twitter and elsewhere. There are plenty of forums to blast The Sage. –Joe