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Lions' Ameer Abdullah: I can be an every-down RB

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Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell insisted this offseason the Lions planned to run the ball better in 2015.

The team's draft displayed that Caldwell wasn't bluffing. The Lions' used a first-round pick on guard Laken Tomlinson -- after trading for veteran O-lineman Manny Ramirez -- their second-round pick on Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah and in the fifth-round fullback Michael Burton.

After jettisoning Reggie Bush, Abdullah will immediately to be slated to take over those carries. At 5-foot-9, 205 pounds Abdullah has smooth quickness, great vision, explosiveness in the hole and a natural stop-and-start ability. His athleticism is off the charts, as he finished first at his position in the vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle and 60-yard shuttle at the scouting combine.

The question for Abdullah is whether at his size he can be an every-down running back in the NFL. The rookie has no doubts.

"I'm going to do whatever they ask me to do, but I think I'm an every-down back," Abdullah told the Omaha World-Herald's online sports talk show "The Bottom Line" this week. "A lot of guys want to put me in the category of third-down back. For those who say that, I ask them to turn on my film. I've never been that kind of player. I've never been a person who is just serviceable, who catches the ball out of the backfield, which I can do and I feel I can do really well. But I can do a lot of things on first or second down as well, in my opinion."

Most viewed Abdullah as too small to be a three-down player, and he'll have to address the fumbling issues in order to increase his role.

While he might not be an every-down player out of the gate, don't be surprised it he carries a bigger load down the stretch of the season. Joique Bell has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry each of the last two seasons and is coming off a 223-carry season. Those totals can weigh on a player.

It's good for coaches to hear that Abdullah believes he can be a three-down player, but we expect a three-back rotation with the Bell/Abdullah thunder-and-lighting combo and Theo Riddick as the Darren Sproles-type chess piece in the backfield.

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