26. Ameer Abdullah – Detroit Lions
2016 stats: 18 carries, 101 rushing yards (5.6 yards per carry), 0 rushing touchdowns, 5 catches, 57 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Career stats: 161 carries, 698 rushing yards (4.3 yards per carry), 2 rushing touchdowns, 30 catches, 240 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
Ameer Abdullah’s first two years in the NFL have not gone according to plan. While he appeared in all 16 games of his rookie year, his touches dwindled throughout the season as fumbling became a more prevalent issue. Expected to make a noticeable leap in his sophomore season, Abdullah suffered a foot injury in Week 2 and was out the rest of the year. Now, in year three with Matthew Stafford playing the best football of his career, it is up to the Nebraska alum to put the pieces together. Abdullah possesses tremendous speed, underrated power and is a dangerous receiver out of the backfield, but until he can protect the football and stay on the field, he can’t crack the top 25 on this list.
Image Source: Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports
25. Isaiah Crowell – Cleveland Browns
2016 stats: 198 carries, 952 rushing yards (4.8 yards per carry), 7 rushing touchdowns, 40 catches, 319 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
Career stats: 531 carries, 2,265 rushing yards (4.3 yards per carry), 19 rushing touchdowns, 68 catches, 588 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
After two less than stellar seasons to start his career, Crowell firmly asserted himself as the team’s first and second down back in year three. With the speedier Duke Johnson Jr. breathing down his neck for more touches, Crowell did enough in 2016 to keep the role as the team’s primary ball carrier. He is a tough, physical runner unafraid of dishing out punishment to would-be tacklers, and has the speed to break off long runs. With the quarterback position remaining a huge question mark, Crowell’s effectiveness (or lack thereof) will go a long way in dictating Cleveland’s offense.
Image Source: Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports