Ameer Abdullah   RB/ST   Nebraska

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

STRENGTHS
Ameer is a weapon, a match-up nightmare. He is the type of player who special team coaches and defensive coaches will have to deal with and game plan for. He is fast and shows on film the vision and lateral agility in the open field to make players miss him and stare at him as he goes flying by. Heís like a magician saying, ďAbracadabra!Ē Now you see him, now you donít. He is a nightmare on the return units bringing punts and kicks back and you better kick the ball out of the end zone because any time he touches it, he can turn it into abracadabra time. He has the hands and athletic skills to be used as a slot receiver or as a running back. When this kid heats up, itís hard to get him to cool him down and he will make more than one impact play in a game. Youíre not going to be able to just reach out and bring Ameer down. His speed, quickness, balance and lateral agility combined with a big offensive line makes it very difficult to see where he is or to stop him before he reaches full speed. And then, ďAbracadabra!Ē, he blows right past you into the defensive backfield.

CONCERNS
Because of Ameerís size, specifically his lack of bulk, itís not likely he is the type of player you can build your running game around, but if you move him around your offense, he will make plays because thatís what he is -- a playmaker. Ameer is not a very good blocker and is too small and light to block blitzing linebackers. Thatís why, if heís on the field for third and long, he will impact more in the slot than staying in the backfield. Ameer plays with one speed and thatís fine for the college level, but at the NFL level, he needs to learn how to use his speed, changing gears and learning how to run routes at different speeds, not just at high gear.

BOTTOM LINE
Ameer has to be moved around and used all over the offense or he becomes easy to defend. He should become the ďWhereís WaldoĒ of your offense. He is very talented, but if he is just your running back, he will struggle to become consistent. If he is just your slot receiver, most teams will find a way to match up with him and render him ineffective. But if he stays on the field and moves around your offense, putting him up against players who canít match up with him, he becomes a nightmare for opponents to deal with. In open space is when he can do his abracadabra moves. If you use him in the backfield, running between the tackles, as long as he can disappear behind some big blockers and then re-appear once he gets into the defensive backfield, thatís when he can break a big play into the end zone. On special teams, he can be something special. So draft him and use him all over your offense and abracadabra, he will score. If Ameer heats up, he wonít cool down. Heíll keep you spinning round and round. Round and round, and round he goes -- where he stops is in the end zone.

Drew Boylhart
JAN/2015