Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
Who is the 5-foot-10 200 pound Akrum Wadley?
When I first popped in the film to study Wadley, the first thing that I observed was his elusiveness and ability to cut. My first thought is that film of LeSean McCoy, because he was so shifty. The game film show his runs are full of jukes, cuts and missed tackles as a explosive runner. He rushed for over 1,000 yards two consecutive seasons totaling 2,872 yards and, 35 rushing touchdowns. He’s a dual threat out of the backfield both as a runner and receiver, and also can return kicks. Last season, Wadley single handily destroyed Penn State Nifty Lions touch defense with 19 carries for 90 yards, and four receptions for 75 yards, scoring on both the run and receiving. He received a All-Big Ten third-team all-conference last season and also named MVP of the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl against the Boston College Eagles.
Akrum Wadley Highlights
He has shown the ability to make defenders miss with a variety of moves, especially in the open field. Has soft natural hands like a receiver which allows him to explosive in the screen game. Wadley has an innate ability to lean and bend in a way that makes it difficult for defenders to get clean hits on him and he does not go down if they try to tackle him high. Wadley runs with excellent pad level and balance, allowing him to bounce off defenders and create extra yardage after contact. Ability to get extra yardage with sudden jump-cuts, spin moves, and a variety of head and shoulder fakes that makes the defenders to stumble.Changing directions and maintaining his speed, and has big play ability. Creates a mismatch when covered with a linebacker and beat them off the line. Average pass blocker at best, but will step up to protect the quarterback.
Has a small frame, which may not allow to be a every-down back. Becomes indecisive in a state of stutter-steps and shakes if clearly defined point of entry isn't there. Makes plays that are in front of him but may not have feel to anticipate developing rush tracks. Impatience causes him to run up the back of his linemen. Needs to get stronger only lifting 12 time on the bench, and strengthen his legs to break tackles. Lacks one-cut decisiveness and physicality. Needs to improve on his blocking for pass protection, but seems to shy away from blockers.His one trick pony block move his to try and cut the defender, which will be ineffective in the NFL.
How does he fit the Rams?
Yes, Wadley can be a by a committee runner who can have a solid NFL career if he proves he can be a full-time third-down option. In a sense, watching him out the back field catching the ball, puts it in mind that I'm watching Chris Thompson of the Washington Redskins. Wadley's unique talent in creating unblocked yardage for himself is a huge plus and his ability to catch passes and return kicks should add to his value. In a Sean McVay's offense, Wadley can be special, creating even more of a problem with the defense.
5th - 6th Round
Lesean McCoy, Buffallo Bills