Jordan Akins: UCF Knight goes to Houston Texans in Third Round

By: Derrick Mack

In third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected University of Central Florida tight end Jordan Akins with the 98th overall pick.

Originally coming out of high school, Akins decided to play professional baseball after being draft in the third round of the 2010 MLB Draft. After struggling in the minor leagues for four years he decided to return to UCF, where he had previously committed to before being drafted, to play football.

In 2014, he played all 13 games for the Knights in a limited role. In 2015, he started at wide receiver and played three games before he unfortunately tore his ACL. After rehabilitating his injury, Akins grew stronger and was converted to tight end where he really began to have success. 2017 was his most successful season as he caught 32 passes for 515 yards and four touchdowns. Akins garnered first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors for his performance. He was also able to help UCF be the only undefeated team in the country in 2017.

In the NFL, Akins will disrupt defenses with his speed and ability to jump over defenders and catch the ball. He will likely be used more in slot formations because of his skills and experience as a wide receiver. He will need to improve his blocking though, as that is one of his biggest weaknesses. Akins is one of the most athletic tight ends in the NFL Draft though his age as a 26-year old rookie could hinder him somewhat.

As a joke between teammates and Akins, his teammates at UCF called him “Grandaddy” since he was the oldest player on the team. Because of his age and experience in professional baseball, he is one of the most mature players coming out of college. This experience is sure to help him out as he begins his career as a professional football player.

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