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Ameer Abdullah has been one of the most productive running backs in the country over the last three seasons, rushing for no less than 1,137 yards in any year. In 2014, he carried the ball 264 times for 1,611 yards and 19 TDs. He surpassed 1,600 yards in 2013 as well (1,690) and for his career he totaled 813 car., 4,588 yards and 39 TDs. Abdullah was Nebraska’s team captain the last two years and won the Nebraska Student-Athlete award in 2014. He finished the season as a Second Team All-Big 10 performer. Abdullah has been a reliable bell cow who has displayed the ability to not only get tough yards between the tackles, but also bounce the ball outside and make a big play. His carry totals are a bit concerning (800+) as he’s not the biggest guy playing the position; he weighs under 200 lbs (195) and stands 5’9” tall. His style is that of a back of bigger physical stature. He’s an intelligent runner who can diagnose the hole quickly and when combined with his quick and efficient feet, he’s able to maximize almost every available yard. Despite his lacking size, he runs with a physical and aggressive style similar to Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts, Giants). While he’s lighter than Bradshaw, he runs with the same kind of abandonment. He has a low center of gravity and (+) balance when running between the tackles. He won’t make a living inside in the NFL, but he’s the kind of runner who won’t go down without a fight. He has good long speed, and although he won’t be able to consistently run away from NFL secondaries, he does have enough pop in his legs to turn the corner and rip the occasional long run. The biggest concern with Abdullah is whether he has the kind of frame that can hold up against the punishment of the NFL. He proved to be durable at Nebraska before a knee injury derailed his 2014 season, although the injury wasn’t a serious one (sprained MCL).
BOTTOM LINE: Abdullah could end up with a path to the field like Tre Mason (Rams.) Mason was a third-round pick who had to earn his stripes before he saw game action, but once he did, he produced and became a significant contributor. Abdullah is cut from the same cloth. Once he gets his chance, I see him becoming a significant part of a RBBC who can handle a 12-15 carry per game workload.
GRADE: 7.0 (Late-3rd Round)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)