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Detroit Lions select running back Ameer Abdullah

CHICAGO -- The Detroit Lions have found their backfield replacement for Reggie Bush.

The Lions selected Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah with the No. 54 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Abdullah was named Senior Bowl MVP in January after racking up 113 total yards on 11 touches. He was also a two-time team MVP at Nebraska.

Measuring in at just over 5-foot-8 and nearly 200 pounds, Abdullah has drawn comparisons to Bengals scat back Giovani Bernard for his lateral quickness and receiving ability. He led all running backs in vertical jump (42 inches) and broad jump (10-feet, 10 inches) at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Much like Bernard, he projects as a tough matchup in spread situations, taking the ball on screens, draws, swing passes and crossing routes.

In other words, he's an ideal complement to Joique Bell, a more physical back who grinds between the tackles, handling short-yardage situations and the four-minute, clock-killing offense.

If there's a knock on Abdullah, it's that he had the highest fumble rate among top prospects, averaging one spill every 35 touches during his four-year college career. There's also a question of whether he's ready for NFL-level pass protection.

Although Abdullah is a more talented back than Bell, we expect the two to share the load in Joe Lombardi's offense.

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