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Sean McVay: I expect Cam Akers to build on the way he finished last season

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Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine why the Rams must take a big-picture approach to the 2023 NFL Draft and use their total of 11 picks to begin redesigning the whole team.

At one point during the 2022 season, it seemed like Cam Akers had played his last game for the Rams.

But after no deal for the young running back materialized at the trade deadline, he eventually got back in the fold with Los Angeles.

Then he excelled, recording 512 yards rushing with six rushing touchdowns over the last six games. He also caught 11 passes for 99 yards in that span.

Now the 2020 second-round pick is in a position to lead Los Angeles’ running backs room in 2023.

On Tuesday, head coach Sean McVay said Akers’ late-season success is significant heading into next season.

“I think for him, anytime that you’re able to have a level of success, and I think being able to go through what he did shows a lot about the human being,” McVay said in his pre-draft press conference. “He was able to have over 500 in the last [six] games and really be able to be a bright spot for us, and let’s continue to build on that. Excited about [new RBs coach] Ron Gould and what he’ll be able to do with that room, but I know Cam’s had a great look in his eye. [I] expect him to continue to build on the way that he finished.

“Confidence is a powerful thing that can compound in the right ways, and he certainly has taken the steps to be able to do that and that’s a big deal. I’m really looking forward to watching him shine from start to finish this year.”

In all, Akers had 786 yards rushing with seven touchdowns plus 13 catches for 117 yards last year.