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Abanikanda the Breece Hall handcuff?

By Jared Smola | Updated on Sat, 29 Apr 2023, 2:09 PM EDT
Israel Abanikanda Headshot

The Jets selected Pittsburgh RB Isreal Abanikanda in Round 5 of the 2023 NFL Draft. At 20 years old, Abanikanda is one of the youngest prospects in this draft class, with much room to grow. It took a while for him to get going, but he led the ACC in carries (239) and rushing yards (1,431) as a junior in 2022, in addition to an NCAA-leading 21 total TDs. While his vision near the line of scrimmage is lacking at times, Abanikanda is a true home-run hitter at his best, as evidenced by his 61 runs of 10+ yards over his last 2 college seasons at Pitt. With the suitable scheme fit and patience, we may look back on Abanikanda as one of the draft's biggest steals. This, of course, is not a great landing spot for his immediate fantasy value. Abanikanda will compete with RBs Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight for the right to back up feature back Breece Hall.

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Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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