Cam Akers was not on the radar of many fans going into the NFL Draft, but he seems to be growing on them. Not only that, the whole league seems to be buying into the potential of the rookie running back.
Odds are placed every year prior to the season, ranging from MVP picks to how many wins the worst team will end up with. For Akers, this has meant generating the odds that he will be named Offensive Rookie of the Year. While his odds may not have been all that great out of the draft, he has seen them steadily rise ever since.
According to Sports Betting Dime, he has gone from a fringe contender for the award to a top 5 candidate. Take a look at where his odds began (and where many books still have him) compared to his first-year counterparts.
While he was still seen as a top 10 contender, he was still only seen as the 5th best running back in the class. But seeing as he will get a real opportunity to be the every day back for the Rams, analysts and executives alike have changed their tune just a bit. His odds have improved from +2000 to +1450 in some books and even as high as +900 in others.
So is this jump justified? Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Cam Akers Stats at Florida State
2019 served as the breakout season for Akers, as most of his impressive numbers came from that one season. He had 18 total TD, 14 rushing and 4 receiving, while racking up 1,369 of total offense. What makes those numbers all the more impressive is the fact that he played with one of the worst offensive lines in the country blocking for him. If you look at his entire body of work, he put up more than half of his total offensive production in the 2019 season alone.
One impressive season hardly translates to success in the NFL, but the factors that made him successful were seen throughout his college career. The impressive lane running, the ability to shed defenders, and the strength needed to break tackles will all help him as he looks to make an immediate impact.
How it May Translate with the Rams
So how does this preview his production in LA? For starters, he’ll have a better offensive line almost by default. While the Rams had one of the worst offensive lines in football last season, most of that was a result of injuries and a lack of chemistry. Their unit showed potential down the stretch and is returning an experienced young group that will know what to expect this time around.
One understated fact is that the Rams allowed the least amount of sacks in 2019 with only 22. With the amount of inconsistency that the group faced, this was a fantastic building point for next season. If the group can continue its projected growth, it will be a huge factor in Akers’ quest for Rookie of the Year.
It may still be a reach to consider Cam Akers a favorite for the Offensive Rookie of the Year, but don’t count him out either. The Rams saw the potential in a young kid who could break tackles better than anyone else in this year’s draft class, and that will be a huge boost for them. For any betting fans out there, Akers might be worth a flyer if you can find his line around +2000 still. That line is quickly rising, however, so jump on it quick. The world is finally starting to see that maybe the Rams were right in replacing Gurley when they did.