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Top-20 Rams of 2022: Running backs continue to matter to the fans

As we nearly get to the top-five of the list, fan support for Cam Akers is growing

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Minicamp Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If running backs are replaceable, the picks wasteful, or simply just worrisome because of the risk of injury, don’t tell the fans who continue to support those players just as strongly as they did in decades past.

As important as Marshall Faulk was to the ‘99 era Rams, as important as Eric Dickerson was to the Rams of the mid-80’s, as important as Todd Gurley was to the beginning of Sean McVay’s career, so too do Rams fans hope, want, and maybe even expect Cam Akers to be to the defending Super Bowl champions.

Even though Akers missed virtually the entire 2021 season and despite the running game being ineffective in the playoffs, the prospect of a healthy Akers added to the Matthew Stafford-Cooper Kupp offense has fans dreaming of a balanced and complete offensive attack in 2022.

We’ve posted our first 15 names to the top-20 most-important players to 2022 Los Angeles Rams and that leaves only five more to go. But along the way, I’ve also added polls and read your comments so create a side list showing where maybe this writer got it wrong.

I’ve always said that what I know or what I think will always pale in comparison to the collective knowledge and hivemind opinion of what the community here believes and knows.

In the first recap after I posted seven names, it was center Brian Allen who was rated higher for Rams fans than where I had originally posted him. But his ascent in the rankings pales in comparison to the rise had by Cam Akers.

Originally my 13th-ranked player on the list, Akers won vote after vote (except for the first one against Greg Gaines) and fans clearly believe that he is at least as important to the offense as Allen Robinson or Tyler Higbee, if not also the offensive player who is coming next on the list in the top-five.

In my estimation of what Rams fans believe is the top-20, Akers currently ranks eighth, as Robinson may have edged him out just slightly. But that’s not the case for everybody and surely many LA Rams fans want, hope, and expect Akers to have a breakout campaign in 2022 after missing all but one regular season game in 2021.

His return from an Achilles tear was remarkable enough. Will he follow it up with his first Pro Bowl season and putting his name on the watch list for the top-five in 2023?

The top-five of my list is coming next, but first a quick recap of where we currently stand.

My List:

First one out - CB Robert Rochell

#20 - QB John Wolford

#19 - CB Troy Hill

#18 - C Brian Allen

#17 - ILB Ernest Jones

#16 - WR Van Jefferson

#15 - S Jordan Fuller

#14 - LG David Edwards

#13 - RB Cam Akers

#12 - DT Greg Gaines

#11 - RT Rob Havenstein

#10 - DL A’Shawn Robinson

#9 - TE Tyler Higbee

#8 - ILB Bobby Wagner

#7 - WR Allen Robinson II

#6 - OLB Leonard Floyd

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Turf Show Times Community List:

20. CB Troy Hill

19. K Matt Gay

18. WR Van Jefferson

17. S Jordan Fuller

16. ILB Ernest Jones

15. LG David Edwards

14. C Brian Allen

13. DL A’Shawn Robinson

12. TE Tyler Higbee

11. RT Rob Havenstein

10. DT Greg Gaines

9. OLB Leonard Floyd

8. RB Cam Akers

7. WR Allen Robinson II

6. ILB Bobby Wagner

Who are your top-five most important Rams of 2022?