Akeem Ayers: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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Akeem Ayers

Ayers is on the rise, but the tape isn't always kind.

UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers seems to be rising up draft boards after a strong pro day — one at which Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson was in attendance.

Ayers (6-2 1/2, 259) was largely considered a second-round talent, but appears to have put himself on the cusp of the first round after posting times of 4.74 and 4.73 in the 40, a 34 1/2 inch vertical leap, 9-5 broad jump, 7.19 3-cone drill, and 22 strength lifts.

Clearly, Ayers has some natural talent and of course, the Packers have a need at outside linebacker, which has led to speculation Ayers might be the Packers pick at No. 32.

Sure, there are some things to like about Ayers. First and foremost, he’s athletic.

In 2010, Ayers finished fourth on UCLA with 68 tackles, first (tied) with 4.0 sacks, second with 10.0 tackles for loss and second (tied) with two interceptions. He was a finalist for the Butkus Award, third-team Associated Press All-American and a first-team All-Pac-10 selection.

Secondly, Ayers is versatile. Not only can he rush the passer, but he can easily drop into coverage.

You’ll see quite a few flashes greatness in this lengthy highlight video.

If you’re short on time, this video of Ayers’ leaping, end zone interception and touchdown will adequately demonstrate his athletic ability.

Highlight videos never tell the full story, though.

For all of Ayers’ great plays, he’s also had some really bad ones. You need look no further than UCLA’s 2010 matchups with Oregon and Cal, which run spread and pro-style offenses, respectively.

Against Cal, Ayers was consistently pushed backwards in the running game and against Oregon he looks like the definition of bad angle, i.e. he consistently takes them on tackles and consistently gets burned.

Could the Packers take a chance on someone as maddeningly inconsistent as Ayers? I can’t see it happening, particularly in the first round.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

15 Comments on "Akeem Ayers: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly"

  1. jeremy

    It looks like many of the weakness he has like false stepping and bad angles are correctable. Especially with a good coach like Greene perhaps he could maximize his natural abilities. But, I agree with Monty the top of the first may be a reach.

  2. Xavier

    Akeem ayers has always been a 1st round talent. He actually fell down draft boards after his combine results and slow times. After his pro day he has gone back to where he was before the combine. 20-30

  3. iltarion

    The Packers have young guys they can coach up at that position. I don’t see a heavy need, and I don’t think they do either. With Jenkins likely gone and Jolly a POS, I believe a bigger man will be the answer.

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