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Jordan Akins Could Outperform His UCF Career in the NFL

UCF in the NFL Draft

UCF TE Jordan Akins catches a touchdown against FIU (Photo: Derek Warden)
UCF TE Jordan Akins catches a touchdown against FIU (Photo: Derek Warden)

Jordan Akins' career might be the most interesting of all of UCF's draftees this year. The former outfielder in the Texas Rangers' organization is 26 years old, and his maturity was a key intangible for UCF's offense over the past two years. He overcame a devastating knee injury in 2015 to become one of McKenzie Milton's favorite targets. And he fits the profile of what a 21st Century tight end should be. The question is whether an NFL team thinks so too.

Jordan Akins

Tight End

Akins originally committed to UCF in 2010, but when the Texas Rangers drafted him as an outfielder, he chose his baseball contract. He never got higher than A-ball in 2012, and despite showing some promise as a power hitter, Akins left baseball after the 2013 season and enrolled at UCF.

A 22-year-old freshman in 2014, Akins originally latched on as a wide receiver and kick returner. He caught 12 balls in 2014 and also returned 15 kickoffs for 24.2-yard average.

It was clear that Akins would be a key pass-catching weapon in 2015, but after catching 14 passes in the first two games and scoring twice against FIU, Akins suffered a devastating knee injury on a kickoff return during the Knights' disastrous loss to Furman, and was lost for the year.

By 2016, Akins had fully rehabbed and bulked up to play tight end in Scott Frost's offense, and though it looked like he had lost a step, he settled in nicely as a middle-of-the-field threat.

This continued in 2017. Although McKenzie Milton had become more comfortable throwing the ball down the field to his outside targets, Akins still found his spots, particularly on third down, and showed tremendous versatility by lining up all over the field:

Measurables

  • Height: 6' 3"
  • Weight: 249 pounds

Stats

Year Team Gms Rec Yds Avg TD
2014 UCF 10 12 135 11.3 0
2015 UCF 3 14 152 10.9 2
2016 UCF 10 23 347 15.1 2
2017 UCF 11 32 515 16.1 4

Honors

  • 2017 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List

UCF Highlights

Scouting Combine Presser

UCF Pro Day

Outlook

Jordan Akins is in a unique place. He's 26. He's overcome a knee injury. He's also a bit of a "tweener" - a bit undersized for a tight end, but definitely girthy for a receiver. He performed quite well at the Senior Bowl but didn't run at the Combine. So he's actually a bit of an unknown quality compared to his teammates. He'll have to work on his blocking still, but in the right system with a proven quarterback, he can fit in very quickly, given that he's a mature and well-rounded pass catcher.

Projection

Definite Day 3, probably a rookie free agent.

  • Mark Lindquist (Rotoworld): Round 7, Pick #252 Overall (Bengals)

Teams to Watch

Bengals, Jaguars, Dolphins, Lions

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