Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers player Ameer Abdullah (8) jumps over Southern California Trojans cornerback Josh Shaw (6) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. USC won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Most fans would look up his combine stats in particular, his size and speed, and thought the Lions reached for a RB who is small and slow. When you look at his combine numbers closer, you’ll see Ameer Abdullah is a much better athlete than what appears on the surface.
Here are his combine stats outside of his 40-yard dash.
Bench Press: 24 reps
Vertical Jump: 42½”
Broad Jump: 130” or 10’10”
3 Cone: 6.79 sec
20 Yard Shuttle: 3.95 sec
60 Yard Shuttle: 11.18 sec
Ameer Abdullah’s Spider Graph courtesy of MockDraftable.com by Marcus Armstrong (Follow him at @mockdraftable)
Sparq Score in comparison to other draft eligible running backs:
Sparq Chart courtesy of 3sigmaathlete.com by Zach Whitman (Follow him at @zjwhitman)
His numbers are extremely impressive. What this mean is Ameer is a very explosive runner with top shelf quickness, which are more important than pure speed runners, since running backs have to sift through the trash to gain yards. Combine numbers are nice, but sometimes it doesn’t translate to the on-field play. In Ameer’s case, it definitely translates on the field. Here is a good example of Ameer’s athleticism:
His movements are subtle, but very effective. You can see how Ameer just explodes after his cut and he often pulls away from defenders in an instant, thus giving him an extra few yards. Defenders, especially Safeties often run at Ameer in what it appears to be a bad angle, and Ameer either destroys the angle or the defenders badly misjudge his explosiveness. Ameer’s change of direction is outstanding as he often makes defenders miss or mis-time their tackle.