Akeem Ayers   LB   UCLA

TALENT BOARD

 Round 4


 

STRENGTHS

Akeem is a very athletic linebacker.  He has great quickness in pass coverage and has an excellent burst off the line of scrimmage when used to rush the passer.  He has those long arms and legs that make it easy to keep blockers off his legs and cover a lot of ground when running with a receiver.  Akeem has the athletic talent to cover a slot receiver and was used often by his college team to do just that. He has excellent quickness and uses that to go around blocks when rushing the passer.  Akeem has had very good marketing about his athletic ability to impact at the college level.  This marketing has suggested that Akeem will also impact at the NFL level.  All I can say is that it takes more than marketing to impact at the NFL level.  

 

CONCERNS

Akeem is not very strong, does not tackle very well, does not engage blockers to shed and make tackles, struggles to rush the passer when blocked, seems to be lost in zone coverage and does not know his assignments.  He takes false steps and is always around the play after a play has been made down field.  His football intelligence is lacking and he shows no true instincts; however, he does look the part and he does have true athletic talent. 

   

BOTTOM LINE

I don't know why Akeem is being listed as a possible 1st round draft choice in this draft.  I know he looks the part, but he just doesn't measure up when you look at him on film.  Akeem has the athletic skills to be used in coverage and he does have excellent quickness of the line to rush the passer.  However, the problem is that Akeem does not like to contact or engage anyone when he is on the field.  He does not want to get hit and he does not like to hit.  Even when he has a free shot to the QB, he still doesn't put him on his back.  As long as Akeem can run around the field and not have to hit, he looks pretty good.  As far as I'm concerned, I'm looking at a more athletic version of Aaron Maybin (see Archives) when he was playing for Penn St.  At least if you draft Akeem, he should be a pretty good cover linebacker if he will tackle.  So unless someone comes up with some film of Akeem doing more than rushing a passer unblocked and making a tackle using his arms then I'm sorry, I'm not drinking the Kool Aid on this kid. I don't usually give names to players I'm not high on, but in this case, I can't resist.  Maybe we should call Akeem "The Kool Aid Kid" because the marketing for him has been the focus -- not his ability to impact on the field.

 

 The BS Detector 

 Drew Boylhart    Jan/11