I’ve seen the idea written about, and fans on Buccaneer Social Media clamoring for Akers selection in the upcoming draft. Here’s why the Bucs shouldn’t.
Yes, I’m a huge Gator Fan. No, it has nothing to do with this article. Hopefully, you will see that by the time you finish reading it. The Buccaneers just don’t need Cam Akers on the team.
The first red flag is the fact that Ronald Jones and Cam Akers are almost the same sizes.
The Bucs don’t need another running back the same size as Jones and Peyton Barber if he stays. Barber is just slightly heavier than Jones as is.
Rojo is already the speed back that can take it to the house from anywhere on the field. Jones came into the league running a forty time of 4.34. Akers reportedly runs a 4.41 forty. We already have a faster back in Jones.
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Cam Akers is fairly fast, but he is even less elusive. He has not shown the ability to juke the second line of defense while at FSU. If he has the angle he might be able to outrun the defense for some yards, but his cutting ability when going at the defense is weak.
Ronald Jones is very good at juking/cutting the defense and he is very elusive and has shown that during the 2019 season. While any back we have would benefit greatly from a better offensive line, Jones has shown he can break a run for a good distance on his abilities.
So why should the Buccaneers draft a slower, less elusive back than the one they have? Why draft a back almost the same size as the one you have?
What we need is a bigger, bruising back with good speed to complement and be a change of pace runner to Jones. Preferably this runner will have size close to what Derrick Henry of the Titans ranges from at 6’2″-3″, 235-245 lbs.
Also, Jones is a pretty hard back to bring down and runs with more authority than his 215-218 pounds would suggest. It’s not hard to see with a back the same size as our lead back, a runner that is slower and less elusive than our current running back.
A pick on Akers would be a wasted pick. The selections made over the next few drafts should be used to solidify the Buccaneers into a top tier team in the NFL for many years to come. Those picks cannot be squandered on unwarranted selections that do not better the team.
While many may not realize it now, Ronald Jones is a very talented above average running back. He is going to surprise a lot of people. In his final game of 2019, he single-handedly took over the game for the Buccaneers in the second half against the Falcons.
Rojo rushed eleven times for 106 yards averaging almost 10 yards per carry. It’s a sign of things to come as this was realistically Jones rookie season as he was a forgotten man to the last coaching staff the year he was drafted.
Jones’ stats last season are almost identical to Derrick Henry’s rookie year. Over the next two seasons, Henry would see his carries increase substantially, culminating in his league rushing title this past year, his third.
I’m not trying to say these two runners are like runners. My point is that Henry was given more carries in his second year, and even more in his third. The Buccaneers should get help for the offensive line in the draft and start feeding Jones more carries. They could achieve this and still be a passing team. They would also be a lot more balanced, taking the weight off of the quarterback’s shoulders.
Defenses we face won’t be able to just pin their ears back and rush us as we were the most blitzed team in the NFL, and it showed with 47 sacks, also the most in the league. With a true threat (which Jones can be) the blitzes will stop coming at the 2019 rate. Think about it fans.