Abdullah taken by Detroit Lions in 2nd round
When two running backs were taken in the first round of 2015 NFL Draft on Thursday night in Chicago, it seemed only a matter of time before Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah heard his name called when the draft resumed for the second and third rounds on Friday night.
In fact, the All-Big Ten back didn't have to wait very long at all, as the Detroit Lions selected him with the 54th overall pick in the second round.
Regarded by many as one of the top-three running backs in the 2015 draft class, Abdullah was the third back taken after Georgia's Todd Gurley (10th overall, St. Louis Rams) and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon (15th, San Diego Chargers) both went in the first round.
Abdullah is the highest Nebraska running back taken in the NFL draft since Lawrence Phillips was selected sixth overall by the St. Louis Rams. He also became the first Husker selected, as defensive end/linebacker Randy Gregory fell to the No. 60th overall pick in the second round going to the Dallas Cowboys.
"I absolutely love this guy," ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said. "I know he's small, I know he doesn't have the ideal size, the 4.3 speed that Mel Kiper looks for or anything else with the measurables, but he runs angry, and he loves this game. Every scout I talked to said they grade him as one of the highest intangible players that they've ever had.
"You see he can catch out of the backfield, he's highly productive in the return game. So 72 receptions in his career the last three years, 61 kick returns. The guy was beaten, battered, bruised - he didn't care. He was going to go back there and return kicks. As a runner, as I said before, he runs angry, and he runs with excellent lateral agility. He reminds me a lot of Giovani Bernard. Not identical, but it reminds me a lot of that waterbed style. Small little crease finder, he's going to find a way to get in and out of it. I'll tell you this, I don't know about the fit, but he's going to be a really good football player."
Friday night marked the latest achievement in an already decorated career for Abdullah that made him one of the most productive running backs in school history.
The Homewood, Ala., native posted a record-setting senior year in 2014 by rushing for 1,611 yards, the sixth-highest total in NU history. That gave him three straight seasons of rushing for more than 1,000 yards, a feat no other Husker had accomplished.
His 4,588 career rushing yards are only behind Mike Rozier's 4,780 for the most ever at Nebraska, and he also set the school record for career all-purpose yards with 7,186, which is the second-highest total in Big Ten Conference history.
But despite his impressive numbers, earning second-team All-America and All-Big Ten honors, and being a finalist for the Doak Walker Award (given to the best running back in college football), questions about Abdullah's 5-foot-9, 205-pound frame kept NFL teams from viewing him as a first-round talent.
Abduallah is no stranger to that type of adversity, though, and he's those criticisms and doubts as fuel throughout his football career.
"I think I'm the best back in this (draft) class," Abdullah said last month. "Once you hear your name called, it's time to get to work, no matter where you were drafted. Like I said, I consider myself the best back in this class… I don't buy into the hype. I'm not a guy who believes my own hype or believes someone else's hype. That keeps me grounded and a guy who's forever hungry. I'll always keep a fire in my belly."
Click Here to view this Link.