You’ve probably heard the name of UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers by now.
We’ve talked about him as a possibility for the Green Bay Packers at No. 32.
Well, Ayers would probably be gone well before the Packers choose in the first round of the NFL Draft if his 40 times were a little better. Ayers ran a 4.8 40 at the Combine and a 4.69 at UCLA’s pro day.
For some reason, those numbers aren’t good enough for a lot of teams and Ayers would like to tell those teams to shove his 40 times up their collective ass.
“That really doesn’t mean anything,” Ayers told the New York Daily News. “I’m not a sprinter. I don’t run track. I play football. I don’t think it matters, because when I’m on the field, I’m not running a 4.8. I’m catching people down and running with running backs and rushing the QB. That’s pretty obvious and clear if you watch the film.”
Ayers played outside linebacker in UCLA’s 4-3 defense, but would be better suited to the 3-4, which is what the Packers play. Ayers may not make it to the Packers, though.
The San Diego Chargers, who choose at No. 18, and New York Jets, who choose at No. 30, are reportedly considering Ayers.
Some scouts believe Ayers would be a bargain at the end of the first round.
“The tape doesn’t lie,” one AFC Scout said. “He’s not perfect. There’s room for growth with his pass rushing, but he’s going to make some team very happy this week. He’s a steal late in the first round.”
Ayers still has room for improvement. If you watch the tape (included with the link at the top) from last season’s UCLA losses to Oregon, which relies heavily on speed, and Cal, which runs a pro-style offense, you’ll probably be just as concerned as the guys who are questioning Ayers speed.