Scouting Report: Akrum Wadly, RB, Iowa

Stephen Mally/The Gazette Photo

Akrum Wadley | 5’10 | 195 | predicted 4.54 40 by NFL Draft Scout


Context:

Games Watched:

  • v. 6 Ohio State (12-2) (BIG10) (8th in YPCa, 7th in YPGa, T-21st in TDa) 20a / 118yds / 5.9ypc / 0 GTD -|- 3c / 40yds
  • v. Penn State (11-2) (BIG10) (17th in YPCa, 14th in YPGa, T-17th in TDa) 19a / 80yds / 4.2ypc / 1 GTD -|- 4c / 75yds / 1 ATD
  • v. Boston College (Pinstripe Bowl) (7-6) (ACC) (103rd in YPCa, 102nd in YPGa, T-90th in TDa) 22a / 88yds / 4ypc / 1 GTD -|- 2c / 24yds / 0 ATD -|- 5kr / 171yd / 1 STTD
  • @ Michigan State (10-3) (BIG10) (T-21nd in YPCa, 5th in YPGa, 13th in TDa) *17a / 30yds / 1.8ypc / 1 GTD -|- 3c / 17yds *

Career Stats:

Year Games Played Carries Rush Yards YPC GTDs Catches Receiving Yards TDs
2014 5 33 186 5.6 1 1 -1 0
2015 8 83 496 6.0 7 6 94 1
2016 13 168 1081 6.4 10 36 315 3
2017 13 252 1109 4.4 10 28 353 3

Accolades

  • 2017 Pinstripe Bowl MVP
  • 2017 All BIG10 3rd team
  • 2016 All BIG10 3rd team

Coaching

  • (HC) Kirk Ferentz: 19 years as HC at Iowa and received coach of the year in 2015. He spent most of his early career as an OL-C at Iowa and spent a few years as an OL-C on the 93-97 Browns with Bill Belichick and Nick Saban.
  • (OC) Brian Ferentz: Has been OC and OL-C at Iowa as well as an assistant and TE-C with NE from 2009-2011.

Injuries and workload

He hasn’t missed any time with injuries during his career but, did have ankle and arm injuries this season that he played through. His workload increased in each of his collegiate seasons with an ending total of 536 carries for 2872 yards and 71 catches for 761 yards with 35 total touchdowns. He looks to have a clean injury history and an average workload. This leads me to believe he is likely to be healthy (assuming he can take NFL hits) for the duration of his rookie contract and be a viable candidate to be signed to a second contract.


Pros:

Best: Burst, Finishing with elusiveness, Receiving

Athletically, Wadley is relatively average. He has good speed, agility, and change of direction, solid acceleration, and adequate strength and frame. His speed is an interesting point to me though, as he doesn’t really “burn” people but, he always seems to be just fast enough to get to the edge or beat a defender down the sideline. I would not expect him to test particularly well in the 40 at the combine with 4.44 is about his hard cap in my eyes and likely looking to be happy to break 4.5. His mental processing is solid. He has solid to good toughness displayed in having been a captain this year, appearing aggressive and passionate on the field, competing at a consistent level against all competition, playing through small injuries, rising to contact, not stopping his feet in the hole vs DBs or LBs with solid to good strength/toughness, driving his feet in holes and fighting for extra yards after he is initially stopped. His vision is solid overall. He is solid at finding daylight on Outside Zone (which I believe will be his most common rush playcall at the next level), solid to good at finding cutback lanes on both Inside and Outside Zone, and good at improvising when the play breaks down, adjusting on the fly, and setting up his blocks or using blocks downfield. His burst is good exampled by being very good at forcing defenders to alter their pursuit angles, good at separating from the hole when he hits it and going from full speed to a stop, and solid at getting to full speed and shifting gears in open field. He is good at generating YAC and finishing runs as he is very good at finishing with speed and elusiveness or moves, good at falling forward through contact, and solid at finishing with strength and elusiveness. He is able to do this in space and in traffic while being good to very good at finishing against DBs and solid to good at finishing against LBs. He is good as a receiver out of the backfield, displayed in his tendency to always hand catch, turn up field smoothly and quickly, good ability to present his hands and numbers to the QB, and displays a solid to good catch radius while relying primarily on speed to generate separation. As a pass protector, he displays solid ability to ID assignments as well as chip when on check+release routes.


Cons:

Worst: Pass pro, Size, Vision, Ball Security

In his toughness, he tends to stop his feet when set to see a DL in the hole, is not a reliable goal-line threat, and does not often hustle downfield to block for his teammates. His vision lacks ability to look defenders out of the hole and is adequate at reading Inside Zone and outside Gap runs. In his ability to finish runs, he is unlikely to evade DL in the hole and is inconsistent at breaking arm tackles. He has struggled to protect the ball, as he has fumbled and tends to not place the ball in his outside hand when running on the edge. This may be due to his size and could be something he looks to improve upon as he adds weight. As a receiver lined up out wide, he struggles to catch the ball in traffic and through contact as well as, does not display the strength to box out defenders or create separation with it. As a pass protector he is poor and unreliable often giving up a sack to his assignment because he has poor technique and lacks the ability to anchor down against edge rushers, linebackers and larger blitzing DBs.


Pro Comp. and Projections:

Pro Comp:

  • Ceiling: DeAngelo Williams
  • Floor: Tyler Ervin
  • Reasoning: He’s a solid to good athlete who plays well in space and can elude defenders effectively and is a constant threat out of the backfield. He has enough strength to fall forward and generate some YAC through power but, isn’t going to dominate or rely on this aspect.

Projection:

It’s very good for him he displayed keen ability to return kicks during the Pinstripe Bowl because this is where I see him making a team for his first year or two until he can put on weight and develop into even an adequate to solid pass protector. He would be a solid rotational back you can win within a 3rd down back or “lightning” role. I would expect him to have an average combine but, not be bad in any category. This leads me to believe that he will be drafted late day 3 .




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