Ameer Abdullah, the Detroit Lions' second-round pick this year, is an explosive running back sure to create a large portfolio of NFL highlights. But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's take a look back at his college career and some of the moments he has already created.
Perhaps Abdullah's greatest highlight also displays every one of his strengths. He has great hands, incredible elusiveness, fearlessness of contact and great vision. Granted, his opponents were from the great state of McNeese, but this play still shows off Abdullah's great athleticism.
Where Abdullah really earns his keep is with his cut move. He excels at sticking his foot in the ground and quickly changing directions. He absolutely undressed the safety above, and quickly accelerates past everyone else.
Abdullah's biggest strength may be his vision. On the play above, Abdullah shows great intelligence, waiting patiently for the hole to open up before exploding through it. Here's another angle:
Abdullah understands where the hole should be, trusts his linemen to get the job done and knows exactly where to go when the time comes. That is the sort of patience the Lions haven't seen in the backfield in quite some time (looking at you, Reggie Bush).
Detroit fans will be happy to know that Abdullah also possess the skills necessary for kick and punt returns. It is his decisive running style that allows him to quickly get upfield before the defenders disengage from their blocks.
While this isn't the flashiest play, it does represent an underrated part of Abdullah's game. While he made a name for himself with his quickness and shiftiness, it's his decisiveness that will make him a good NFL running back. Against a Michigan State defense that held him to only 45 yards on 19 rushes, Abdullah still reached the end zone twice due to his fearless running style and leg strength. In the play above, Abdullah keeps his legs moving, lowers his shoulders and pushes forward for the score. Despite his small stature, Abdullah will be a solid goal-line option.
However, the reason you'll fall in love with Abdullah comes back to his quickness and agility. What I absolutely adore about the play above is how quickly Abdullah gets moving north-to-south. He doesn't mess around in the backfield. He finds the hole and BAM, he's already through it. Add in two sick jukes and I'm sold.
(NOTE: GIFS CREATED WITH THE HELP OF DRAFT BREAKDOWN)