Oct 18, 2014; Evanston, IL, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Ameer Abdullah (8) is tackled by members of the Northwestern Wildcats defense during the first half at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Despite his small stature, he is proficient runner in between the tackles. Combined with his vision and athleticism, Ameer does a good job of finding holes, then bursting through them into the second level. He also does a great job of reading defensive players to manipulate them to where he wants them to go before going to the opposite way. You can sometimes see him read the defensive line’s heads with his initial read before deciding where to run. Or Ameer reads off linebackers or defensive backs, then move them away from open space. Ameer is a very patient runner when it comes to letting holes develop before making a decision on where to run. In addition to his vision and athleticism, Ameer has a deceptive strong lower body and has great balance to break arm tackles. Here is a good example to show his strong lower body and balance:
This is where Ameer shines as a runner. Once he is in space, he is very difficult to bring down because of his change of direction and burst. Ameer is a creative runner who has different moves to make defenders miss. His pacing, footwork and method to change direction are what make him a dangerous runner in space. Ameer often makes a lot of big plays, but doesn’t have the long end speed to outrun most NFL defenders.
This is by far the biggest weak point of his game. Ameer lacks the techniques to take on blitzing LB/DB or DL coming through free. He doesn’t sink his hips and then explode into defender’s chest to stop them momentarily for the QB to get rid of the ball. His cut block techniques leaves a lot to be desired. Ameer has a tendency to lunge at their feet thus making it easier for defenders to get around him. Ameer needs to work on his aiming point, which is the outside thigh to get the defender across the body for a takedown. I believe Ameer is a willing blocker, but doesn’t have the techniques to do so.