Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions had a disappointing ground attack in 2017 and can be looking to unload one running back between Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick, two players with eerily similar skill sets. While Riddick seems to be a more well-known name around the league, it’s more likely GM Jon Robinson would choose to go after Abdullah, since he could probably be had for less.
Abdullah was the starter out of the talented staple of backs the Lions had this past season, but would work best in a complementary role in the backfield. With the Tennessee Titans seeming to be all in for Derrick Henry toting the load in 2018, Abdullah would fit in almost perfectly with Henry. The Nebraska product can run between the tackles, but does his best work on the outside. It doesn’t matter if it’s an outside run or a swing pass, Abdullah has the ability to make a play any time he gets the ball out there.
Considering Marcus Mariota has been deprived of that kind of weapon his entire career, I suspect it’s one of Robinson’s top priorities this off-season. Impending free agents like Dion Lewis and Jerick McKinnon are going to want big deals, but Abdullah can still be had on his rookie deal. That gives the GM the freedom to not commit too much money down the road. Players like Mariota and Taylor Lewan are due for their mega deals soon, so it’s vital that Robinson keeps enough free cap space to get those deals done.
Potential Compensation for Detroit: DE Kevin Dodd and a mid-round pick.