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2. Second round pick Ameer Abdullah should prove to be a great compliment to the Detroit Lions running game. How big of an impact will the former Corn Husker have in his rookie season?
Platte – “I wasn’t as high on AA as most were coming into the draft, but they’re definitely setting him up to succeed. Already adding Larry Warford and Travis Swanson to try and improve the run game, the team went interior OL again and later picked up a bruising fullback to lead the way for him. I still think the team tries to force Joique Bell into the lead role, but Abdullah should be stealing carries from Theo Riddick pretty early and I expect him to overtake Bell by midseason on the depth chart, at the latest.”
DeMara – “It’s fair to say a big impact. I’d expect Abdullah to get a decent amount of considering he’s been a workhorse back throughout his college career. One area to remember is the passing game. Abdullah can make plenty happen with his legs in the open field. Expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 yards rushing and 500 through the air with 8 total touchdowns in Detroit’s offense. That would be an excellent start to a promising career.”
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Shackelford – “I questioned Abdullah’s game early in the draft process, but the more I researched on him, the more I thought he had the ability to be an every down back. 5’8″ and 200 lbs may seem a bit small for the position, but Abdullah is exceptional strong (bench’s over 350 lbs and squats over 570 lbs) and pairs that strength with great field vision and world class quickness. The Lions may use a heavy dose of Joique Bell early on, who’s got a unique skillset of his own, but I don’t think some combination of 1,000 yards between rushing and receiving is out of the question, particularly with the maulers Detroit has on the interior offensive line. It’s only a matter of time before Abdullah takes over as the number one back for the Lions.”
Fischer – “A huge one. There is no longer a liability in the Lions backfield with Abdullah replacing the oft injured Reggie Bush. Abdullah also brings big play speed to the table giving the Lions back-field a little bit of a thunder and lightning feel.”
Williams – “Abdullah will certainly be given the chance to have a huge year. He may be replacing Reggie Bush in Detroit’s lineup, but I expect him to be the Darren Sproles of the Lions offense. Abdullah isn’t overwhelmingly fast, but he posses great acceleration and has very good hands for a running back. Lombardi will definitely look to get him the ball, hopefully he can hold on to it.”
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