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Ameer Abdullah | Running Back

Team: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Age / DOB:  (22) / 6/13/1993
Ht / Wt:  5'9' / 190

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Lions selected Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah with the No. 54 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Abdullah (5'9/205) parlayed 813 career carries into 4,588 yards (5.64 YPC) and 39 touchdowns for Nebraska, adding 73 receptions. Although Abdullah is long-speed deficient (4.60), he registered the highest SPARQ score among running backs at the Combine, and offers an elite combination of lateral agility and lower-body explosion. He was one of the best all-around football players we viewed on tape, running inside with determined decisiveness. He has future feature back potential if he cleans up his pass pro and ball security after fumbling 24 times in college. If it comes together, Abdullah can be a more elusive version of Ray Rice. As a rookie, he'll battle Theo Riddick to pick up Reggie Bush's pass-catching slack opposite Joique Bell. May 1 - 9:06 PM

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Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah was compared by two personnel men to Giovani Bernard, who he shares size and speed numbers with.

"They ended up drafting Jeremy Hill last year because they wanted a guy to run really hard between the tackles," one scout said. "Bernard's really tough in a spread offense on screens, draws and receiver stuff in space. Abdullah will be the same thing. He runs excellent routes, has great ball skills and instincts. He's fumbled the ball too much (24) but some weren't his fault. His game translates well to the zone scheme in the NFL." Abdullah had the best vertical jump (42 inches), broad jump (10-10) and reps on the bench press (24) amongst the runners. "I think he has more of a chance than [Melvin] Gordon," a second scout said. "He's like LeSean McCoy. He can break you down and make you miss. He can beat a linebacker one on one. He needs more work in pass pro." A third scout disagreed: "I'm not sold on him," he said. "Little. Not a good blocker."
Apr 29 - 3:40 PM

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah's "elusiveness is the best of any player in this class," writes ESPN's Todd McShay.

McShay ranks Abdullah as the second-best player in space in this class (behind WR Tyler Lockett). "His stop-start ability is outstanding, making defenders miss and then accelerating again as though he never lost momentum," McShay wrote. "He also stands out as the best in this class for his ability to weave in and out of creases. Some guys have elite agility but don't feel the holes in time, and others can anticipate openings but don't have the quickness to exploit them. Abdullah has a rare combination of both skills." The analyst wrote previously that he envisions Abdullah being deployed as the Bengals use Gio Bernard with Jeremy Hill. "There were so many times I'd watch Abdullah on tape when he'd be going full speed and then stop on a dime to make a sharp lateral or diagonal cut without having to gear down," McShay wrote. "Not many guys in the NFL can do that. He's a threat as a pass-catcher and as a returner as well."
Apr 27 - 2:19 AM

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah "never overpower defenses because of his small stature, but he is an extremely competitive player who runs angry," writes ESPN's Todd McShay.

"His ideal fit is with a team that has another back who can play more of the short-yardage power role, which allows him to be more of a change-of-pace type who can make plays with his elite lateral agility and ability to get in and out of creases and avoid defenders," McShay wrote. The analyst envisions Abdullah being used as the Bengals use Gio Bernard with Jeremy Hill, adding that the Cornhusker is also a good receiver out of the backfield. The 5-foot-8, 205-pound Abdullah has explosive potential as a runner.
Apr 26 - 6:48 PM

ESPN's Todd McShay wrote that he "love[s] the way" Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah "plays the game."

"He's only 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds, but he is an aggressive runner between the tackles who fights for extra yardage after initial contact, and he's fearless in taking on bigger defenders in pass protection," McShay wrote. "He doesn't project as a workhorse back in the NFL due to his size, and he's had ball-security issues in college, but he plays a lot bigger than his frame indicates; he just runs angry, as though he's on a mission." Abdullah's is tiny (5-foot-8 5/8), has small hands (8 5/8 inches) and doesn't have sprinter speed (4.60 seconds), but he is incredibly athletic and shifty. "The way he works in and out of creases, exploiting his exceptional quickness to make defenders miss, really stands out," wrote McShay. "Lastly, you won't find many players with better football character. You want this guy in your locker room."
Apr 22 - 9:01 PM

The Falcons put Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah through a private workout, according to Ross Jones.

These is the first visit/workout buzz we have read regarding Ameer Abdullah. As Jones points out, Abdullah would be an outstanding fit in Kyle Shanahan's zone focused running scheme thanks to his explosive cuts and ability to make people miss at the second level. Expect the Falcons to look at running backs in the first three rounds.
Apr 16 - 9:21 AM

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah is an "athlete with phenomenal running ability, agility, acceleration and instincts and a leader in the locker room and the community," writes's Frank Cooney.

"But the medics must take a close look at Abdullah. He seemed to overcome a sprained left MCL against Purdue when, after a bye week, he appeared limited but played through the pain against Wisconsin and for the rest of the season," Cooney wrote. Abdullah's measurables are an eye-of-the-beholder proposition: He's small (5-foot-8 5/8), has small hands (8 5/8 inches) and doesn't have sprinter speed (4.60 seconds), but he aces basically every other test. This skill set manifests on the field, where Abdullah fumbles too much and can't block, but will take every yard he's given and then some. "Very correctable as long as you're practicing the same way you're going to do it in the game," said Abdullah when asked about concerns over his fumbling. "It's all about focusing on the three pressure points. Anyone who plays football knows what I'm talking about when I say that. Just practicing the same way every day, consistently holding the ball high and tight."
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 14 - 8:53 AM

Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah produced the best SPARQ score of any RB in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Abdullah posted a score of 142.5, which places him in the 95.6 percentile of NFL players. SPARQ is a formula that factors in each Combine/pro day test along with weight. Northern Iowa's David Johnson was second with a score of 139.7, placing him in the 93.1 percentile. Both were well ahead of their peers. Be sure to follow the link below to learn more about SPARQ, as a number of teams use something of its kind to quantify athleticism.
Source: Rotoworld
Mar 17 - 11:23 AM

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah "is one of the more elusive and versatile backs in this class," wrote ESPN's Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl.

Some were disappointed by Abdullah's 40-yard dash time of 4.60 at the combine, but the Scouts Inc. duo notes that he "turned in outstanding results in the jumps and agility tests, which speaks to his elusiveness and short-area quickness to create yards on his own." To wit, Abdullah led all backs at the combine in the vertical jump (42.5 inches), broad jump (10 feet, 10 inches), short shuttle (3.95) and three-cone drill (6.79). "Abdullah comes with some durability and ball-security issues, but he should land in somewhere in the Day 2 range," wrote Muench and Weidl.
Mar 5 - 10:14 PM

According to CBS Sports, Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah's fumble rate of once every 35.4 offensive touches is worst amongst running backs in this year's class.

"It should be noted that his fumbling totals decreased every year, but a concern nonetheless," added Dane Brugler. This comes as no surprise to draftniks. Abdullah is a stellar running back prospect, but he has two major weaknesses: His pass protection is shoddy due to his lithe frame, and he has major ball security issues. As a pure runner, though, Abdullah has few equals.
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 4 - 9:13 PM

NFL Media analyst Charles Davis observes that Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah "plays hard" and "does not give up on plays."

"RB Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska is one of my faves to watch. Plays hard does not give up on plays-McNeese game winning catch and run shows absolute desire," Davis tweeted. The 5-foot-8, 205-pound Abdullah has explosive potential as a runner and a weapon out of the backfield in the passing game, and is seen as a high character guy. The Nebraska prospect gets knocked for his pass protection and ball security issues, but should come off the board in the late-second or early third-round of the draft.
Mar 3 - 2:30 PM

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah posted a Speed Score of just 91.6 at the NFL Combine.

The average Speed Score of Round 1 RBs over the past decade is about 110. Abdullah's Speed Score pegs him "as a lower-round pick," according to ESPN's Aaron Schatz. Though Abdullah clocked disappointing forty times of 4.61 and 4.62 at 5-foot-8 and 205 pounds, he essentially dominated the field in all non-40 drills, especially those that measured agility and explosion. He was best amongst top running backs in four of seven drills, including the vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. "Researchers have suggested that a Speed Score that incorporated these drills would be a better predictor of NFL success, and such a system would certainly rate Abdullah as a better prospect," Schatz wrote.
Feb 28 - 5:28 PM

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah clocked forty times of 4.61 and 4.62 at the combine.

Before you overreact, you ought to know that Abdullah essentially dominated the field in all non-40 drills. He was best amongst running backs in four of seven drills, including the vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. He also added seven pounds between the Senior Bowl and Combine. As NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently wrote, Abdullah "doesn't have elite long speed, but he piles up a lot of 30-40-yard runs."
Feb 22 - 12:02 AM

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah made his debut at No. 40 on NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's board.

"Abdullah is a compact, muscular runner with excellent quickness, balance and surprising power," Jeremiah wrote. "On inside runs, he is quick to the hole and he has excellent lateral quickness to avoid defenders in tight quarters. He carries his pads low to the ground and he pinballs off tacklers. He looks to finish every single run. On outside runs, he has the burst to get the edge and he is very elusive once he gets into the open field. He doesn't have elite long speed, but he piles up a lot of 30-40-yard runs. He is effective out of the backfield because of his reliable hands and ability to make defenders miss in space." Still, Abdullah is not without warts. He's a poor pass blocker, he won't move a pile, and he fumbles more than any other decent RB in this class. "He is an excellent kickoff returner because of his aggressiveness, vision and initial burst," Jeremiah added.
Feb 18 - 11:16 PM

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah fumbled once every 35.4 touches across his four-year college career.

CBS' Dane Brugler reports that Abdullah's fumble rate was the most egregious of all draft-worthy 2015 running backs, which won't surprise you if you pay attention to the draft process or college football. To put Abdullah's butter fingers in perspective, Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon finished second on this list with a fumble every 54.4 touches, while Alabama's T.J. Yeldon fumbled every 62.2 touches and Boise State's Jay Ajayi fumbled once every 62.6 touches. In college, Abdullah fumbled 24 times; 17 were lost to turnover. He simply must learn to take better care of the ball, or NFL coaches will deprive him of it. Because Abdullah can't pass block, that would be a very bad development indeed.
Feb 18 - 12:04 PM