Akrum Wadley is one of the most elusive backs in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has good vision and can make defenders miss in space, which makes him a threat when he gets to the second level or the receiving game. He has a lean frame and lacks the power that is probably necessary to be an every down running back in the NFL, but the agility and vision make him a potential change of pace and receiving back at the next level.
Wadley is explosive in his cuts and has a good feel for setting up defenders and misrepresenting where he intends to go. He is good at navigating behind his blockers and looks fluid when changing directions. His lateral agility and burst helps him get up field and through lanes as they open and helps him successfully navigate through cutback lanes.
Akrum Wadley has above-average-to-good vision. He recognizes lanes well, anticipates penetration quickly and has a good feel for his blockers. The main issue with his running style is that his decision making can be inconsistent. His patience pays off most of the time, but it sometimes borders on tentative and he can miss out on opportunities by being too indecisive behind the line of scrimmage. On the flip side, he can also be too impatient at times, panicking and trying to bounce runs outside too early. When he is calm and decisive, he does a good job identifying running lanes and getting to the hole.
Wadley doesn’t show much in the way of power. He is lean and doesn’t appear to have a particularly strong lower body. Both his pad level and his leg drive can be inconsistent, leading to very little yard-after-contact potential in the NFL. Wadley will likely be limited in his short yardage ability and his ability between the tackles due to poor power and below average balance through contact.
Akrum Wadley is adequate as a receiver, but his receiving opportunities may be limited at the next level due to his inability to pass protect. Pass protection is something that most college running backs struggle with, but Akrum Wadley doesn’t show a willingness to put the effort in on many plays. Combined with his lean frame and lack of functional strength, pass protection will likely be an issue for Wadley in the NFL.
It’s tough to see exactly where Wadley projects at the next level. His vision, elusiveness, and receiving ability are all traits that could help shape him into a good change of pace and third down back, but his complete lack of power, balance through contact, and willingness in pass protection may limit his ability in that role. If Wadley can show some improvement in some of those areas, he could develop into a player that could contribute in certain situations.