All Production, No Excuses

April 14th, 2020

Runs to daylight.

Dating back decades, Joe has always had a slight apprehension about drafting running backs who ran behind excellent offensive lines.

The reason for this is dudes who run behind monster offensive lines often take advantage of getting to the second level without being breathed up. These holes are rarely there on the NFL level. Can the back adapt?

The perfect example of this is Larry Phillips. The monster from Nebraska (in more ways than one) played behind a ferocious offensive line that absolutely blasted five-yard wide holes on just about every snap.

Of course, Phillips was so big that few linebackers and even fewer defensive backs could take him on one-on-one.

In the NFL, he was facing grown-arse men, not children, and he struggled terribly and is one of the most famous busts in history.

That’s why Joe is intrigued with this Cam Akers at Florida State. It was disgusting to watch a program the status of Florida State have a worse offensive line than many high schools.

So Akers was no stranger to making runs where no holes were available.

In his write-up on running backs, good guy Evan Silva (formerly of, who currently owns a piece of, looked at Akers.

Technically-sound, quick-footed runner on tape. Grinded career 586/2,875/27 (4.9 YPC) rushing stats behind sieve-like Seminoles offensive line. Compensated with 3.9 yards after contact per carry in 2019. Very-nice 69 career catches, 7 receiving TDs. Jack of many trades, master of none. Ceiling likely best projects as lead back in a committee.

Getting 3.9 yards a carry after contact is damn impressive to Joe. And this Akers seems like he has good vision. He’s always cutting to open green grass.

Joe likely wouldn’t grab Akers until the third round. But Joe is intrigued with this guy. If the Bucs are able to trade up for a right tackle, what would Akers do with a little bit of blocking if he ran well with no blocking?

Is the best of Akers to come on the NFL level?

Dane Brugler of The Athletic has Akers as his No. 5 running back.

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Florida State, Akers was the feature back in former offensive coordinator Kendal Briles’ spread, up-tempo offense. Despite below-average offensive line and quarterback play the last three seasons, he joined Warrick Dunn and Dalvin Cook as just the third player in school history with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons. One of the most talented players any time he takes the field, Akers is a sudden runner with explosive lateral moves (his best trait) to cut away from defenders, forcing overpursuit. However, he is too much of a checkers (aggressive, spontaneous) runner with his attacking mindset and needs to introduce more chess (patient, strategic) to his run style. Overall, Akers would be a higher ranked prospect with better vision or run compass, but he is a physically impressive athlete with the shifty moves and toughness to create yardage, projecting as a souped-up version of Duke Johnson in the NFL.

Emory Hunt, the Czar of the Playbook, has Akers listed as his No. 5 back as well in his 2020 Football Gameplan Draft Guide, only $10!).

– Excellent, all-around game. Akers has 3-Down potential because of the skills he provides.
– Underrated run power; he’s able to fly through arm tackles, and also move the pile.
– B/C of his QB background, he has a complete understanding of the passing game. More than just a ‘basic’ receiving back.
– Shows good decisiveness as a runner; Makes cut and gets downhill.
– Akers has a good burst to break the first wave of defenders.

Areas of Improvement:
– Much better run blocking than pass blocking. Might be a liability in the pass pro department.
– Not an overly shifty runner.
– Doesn’t have ‘blazing speed’, but definitely enough to be a chunk-play gainer.

29 Responses to “All Production, No Excuses”

  1. TDTB Says:

    Cam would be a fine addition. Only reservation is whether he adds a skill set the Bucs don’t have already. They may be better served taking both Dillon and Perine in later rounds.

  2. Stanglassman Says:

    Cam would be a steal in that e 3rd round. He looks natural coming out of the backfield catching passes and runs with power and elusiveness between the tackles. He can also run the wildcam formation something Arians wanted last year before the rookie Qb got injured playing beach volleyball right before training camp.

  3. ©MadMax Says:

    If something happens and we dont land an OT in the first (we’ll make up for it in the 2nd), then if he’s still there in the 3rd, im all for it. I love the way he runs hard…has those thighs that plant…hard to stop or bring down.

    But Im still at Simmons/Wills (in a trade up), or sit tight and get Thomas and Clyde who should fall to us 1st and 2nd.

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    Not my first choice. The way he runs reminds me of Ronald Jones. I wouldn’t be mad but, there are better backs in this draft that I think would have a more immediate impact.

  5. Casual Observer Says:

    Both Akers and Dillon would be OK draft picks, imo. Could use the pair. Maybe even in rounds 2 and 3.

  6. Jean Lafitte Says:

    If Akers and Dillon are on the board, I’m taking Dillon. Boston College’s offensive line was worst than FSU but the guy was a beast, and made his own yards.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    At the current time Bucs have RoJo and ??? in our RB stable. I’m all-in for taking TWO RBs in Rnds 2-4, as long as one of them is AJ Dillon (Rnd 4 pick assuming he lasts that long … WalterFootball ranks him as the #7 RB in this draft, going in Rnds 3-4).

    Lots of quality Rnd 2 RBs who could effectively COMPLEMENT RoJ’s skillset. Swift & Taylor will most likely be gone by our #45 pick, but Akers, CEH, Dobbins or Moss would do just fine IMO.

  8. Casual Observer Says:

    Dillon seems like a bull. Good in short yardage situations. Should be the best RB blocker on the list too. I would take him in round 3.

  9. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Straight line speed 40 yard time is the most overated stat for runningbacks in modern NFL

    Physically, Change of pace, read block vision and hands

    The prototype modern runningback is Nick Chubb

    HOWEVER, the runningback is non essential and actually meaningless

    Kyle Shanahan in his system and scheme can get any top 50 runningbacks to 1000 yards

    The NFL is a copycat league and Kobe at first thought it was smart. The NFL sure loves shiny toys and boytoy Sean Mcvay and his passing game is the new fad

    BUT WHY isnt teams coping Kyle Shanahan offense with his running game sceme/concepts and play action?

    People are not smart as they think they are”

    Shaman Kobe Faker

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    TDTB Says:
    April 14th, 2020 at 5:43 am
    Cam would be a fine addition. Only reservation is whether he adds a skill set the Bucs don’t have already. They may be better served taking both Dillon and Perine in later rounds.


    akers ran behind a lousy OL but he also ran against lousy defenses….lol….perine reminds me a lot of james white who brady loved….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    Kobe- Your 49ers reference may be the smartest thing you’ve said to date. What does their running scheme incorporate? Drum roll please…….a FB!

    No matter who we bring in at RB, if we are seriously going to run the football, get a FB. Watch the run-game flourish.

  12. cgmaster27 Says:

    @Jean, you couldn’t be more wrong about fsu and boston colleges offensive line. Adjusted line yards last year, Boston college was 15th in the nation, fsu was 120th. A simple google would’ve helped you on that one.

  13. Day 1-76 Says:

    If you want to do your own simulation try this link

    It’s obviously not foolproof but I’ve done at least 100 drafts and I bet 99 of them are better than what Licht will pull off. It’s good entertainment when you have to stay at home.

  14. SB Says:

    ” getting to the second level without being breathed up. ”

    Seriously Joe.?

  15. Jean Lafitte Says:


    FSU pass blocking was atrocious and possibly the worst in college football that gave up tons of sacks but their run blocking wasn’t considered as bad and the reason why they ran the ball nearly 2 to 1 on offensive play calls.

    BC had a top 35 pass blocking offensive line with OT Tyler Vrabel leading the way but their overall run blocking was pedestrian at best.

    But you are right, overall FSU stunk worst than BC in grade. Both backs certainly had to fight for their yards for sure as both teams end their seasons at 6-7

  16. lambchop Says:

    Larry? You mean Lawrence?

  17. Swampbuc Says:

    I would prefer Lamical Perine. What a great 3rd down back he will be and he will be there on day 3.

  18. saskbuco Says:

    Think you mean Lawrence Joe…great article

  19. Joe Says:

    Larry? You mean Lawrence?

    Joe meant “Larry.”

  20. Joe Says:

    Think you mean Lawrence Joe…great article

    Joe meant “Larry.”

    And thank you!

  21. Ed Says:

    Fine looking back and most of all, the guy loves to play football. If he’s on Licht’s board at 3, he’d make a solid improvement to the Bucs running game. Brady loves to throw to his backs and he can catch the ball out of the backfield well.

  22. Isaac haggins Says:

    He does find openings but he just isn’t that fast behind the line , he can catch and has some toughness but he can’t run better than Rojo but does catch better , not a fast either !!! I don’t mean 40 times ……… 3 rounder at best , not any better than numerous low cost free agents !!

  23. Jim Says:

    Clyde just Clyde

  24. Buczilla Says:

    I’d rather have Clyde or Taylor, but if we miss out on those two, I’d be thrilled to get this guy. I dislike FSU, but once they become Bucs, all is forgiven. Plus, we’ve had good luck with some FSU players like Dunn, Brooks, Johnson, etc..

  25. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m with TDTB and D.R.

    We should grab TWO not just one RB. I like ROJO but three backs are common in the NFL these days. I hadn’t thought of Perrine because of Akers and CEH but a combo or Perrine and Dillon works for me..or CEH/Akers and Dillon.

    Dillon gives us our first real power back since when? #40 ?

  26. Oneilbucs Says:


  27. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    TDTB Says:
    “Cam would be a fine addition. Only reservation is whether he adds a skill set the Bucs don’t have already. They may be better served taking both Dillon and Perine in later rounds.”

    Add me to the list of people citing TDTB.
    We need someone who can run block and catch. Dillon.

  28. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    I meant pass block, but maybe it was a footballian slip (football + freudian). It would make my “putter stand up” (Johnny Carson reference) to actually see a power I formation á la WD-40.

  29. 1nebuc Says:

    Cam was the number 1 running back coming out of high school. When he was with Jimbo running his pro style offense he was serious. He ran between the tackles he was extremely patient in waiting for the hole to open and even and was just as reliable with screens and quick hits out the backfield. But when Willie arrived in doke he changed the play style to that RPO fast ball football the last 2 years. This guy is a true dog on the field. There’s no way he will be there in the 3rd. He won’t make it pass the Steelers in the 2nd. Think of Joesph Addia from the colts.