Israel “Izzy” Abanikanda, Pitt (5’11”, 215)
What Scouts Say:
1400 rush yards his Junior season after Pickett left, and scored twenty touchdowns. Accomplished receiver, with an average of 12.7 yards after the catch per catch. Very aggressive play style, always falls forward. Breaks tackles, good speed for his size. Not incredibly elusive in the open field, small route tree, lacks true lateral agility.
What We Saw:
Izzy Abanikanda is better than JAG. He’s not a superstar but I think he is the type of player coaches will love, and he’ll kick around the league for a few years. He has a nose for the end zone, power, and a surprising amount of speed to pair with his excellent pass catching and run after the catch ability. He might not be the best lateral mover, but he can run North/South at an incredibly strong level and once he gets his momentum going he’s a freight train with a second gear. He has the type of traits that give him a colossal range of outcomes, from career backup to lead back in a power run system. He’s a pure lotto ticket, but he’s certainly a good player with the skills to succeed in the NFL.
Izzy didn’t have anything that immediately leapt out as great, but he did have the isolated traits that you look for in a later round guy hoping they can put it together. Most of his runs are usually decisive one looks that lead to “there’s a hole here for me, or I’m going to smash into these men and make my own”. If he can reach the secondary he has great long speed that let him house it 6 times against VT in 22. Loves to run it right up the gut and take contact. It feels like it takes 2-3 defenders to take him down even in direct contact. If the defender is coming from a different angle, bet the house that Izzy is taking the hit and is going to keep going. Was utilized in the slot which is very interesting in PPR formats even if pass catching isn’t his number one skill. DC is going to be a big determining factor for me with Izzy. Even as the potential #2 on a team, the opportunity is there to take the lead position. If he goes before round 4, he’s going to be a mid 2nd, if he goes after use those lottery tickets baby.
Tevin Coleman/Brian Robinson on 1.5x speed