Summary: Florida State has had an excellent run of producing NFL running backs in recent years, and Akers will continue the tradition established by Devonta Freeman and Dalvin Cook. Like those two Seminoles, Akers could be a second-day pick who outperforms his draft slot because Akers has close to first-round ability. Cook had first-round ability as well, so Akers could be a real steal in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Over three years, Akers played well for Florida State despite having an awful offensive line in front of him. He had a strong start as a freshman in 2017 with an average of 5.3 yards per carry for 1,024 yards with seven touchdowns. He caught 16 passes for 116 yards and a score that season. In 2018, he averaged 4.4 yards per carry for 706 yards with six touchdowns. He also caught 23 passes for 145 yards with two scores. In his final season, Akers averaged 5.0 yards per carry for 1,144 yards with 14 touchdowns. He also hauled in 30 receptions for 225 yards and four scores. After declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft, Akers was superb at the NFL Scouting Combine with a fast 40-yard dash time of 4.47 seconds and a very good field workout.
For the next level, Akers is a do-it-all back who looks like a three-down starter with Pro Bowl potential. The 217-pounder has an excellent combination of size and speed. Akers shows the power to run through tackles and the speed to hit the second level while being able hit the gas in the open field to run away from the defense. Akers is a threat to break off long runs on any touch, and he would have produced a lot more big plays in college if it weren't for a terrible offensive line.
Akers has a lot of natural abilities as a runner that make him a play-maker. He has very good feet and cutting skill to stop on a dime with a sudden ability to change direction. On top of his feet and cutting ability, Akers has good vision and patience to let holes develop while also being able to create on his own. He is a shifty runner and elusive in the open field to dodge tacklers, givieng him the ability to make defenders miss. Akers possesses the strength to get yards after contact with balance to sustain hits and a strong build to finish his runs well. With his size, speed, and running ability, Akers can be the engine for a NFL offense.
Akers is also a weapon in the passing game as a check down receiver. He has soft hands and finds the soft spots to get open for his quarterback. Akers is too quick, sudden, and explosive for linebackers to cover, so he should be a real mismatch weapon.
Akers needs work as a blocker, as all college backs do entering the next level. He flashes potential, but he is selective as a blocker and soft at times. After getting development from his pro coaches, he could become a good blocker because he has the size and potential attitude to execute. Akers might need to rotate out of obvious blocking situations to start out his NFL career as he develops that ability.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, Akers looks worthy of being selected in the second round. It would be surprising if he made it Round 3. If there were a lot of running back-needy teams picking late in the first round, Akers would not be a reach there from a talent perspective.
Player Comparison: Kareem Hunt. Some team sources said Akers reminds them of Kareem Hunt during his time with the Chiefs. Both are do-it-all backs as runners and receivers who combine size with speed. Hunt was a second-day pick and Akers is likely to be as well.