Israel Abanikanda NFL Draft

Israel Abanikanda

  • RB Pitt
  • Junior
  • #124
  • 5'11"
  • 215lbs
  • Prospect
  • Atlantic Coast

2022 Season

RUSH

1431

TD

20

YPC

5.987

YDS

146

Prospect Summary

Israel Abanikanda 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Background: 

  • Played defensive back and running back in high school 
  • Competed in track in addition to football in high school 

System: 

  • Scheme tendencies: Multiple, but mostly zone
  • 2022 projected role: Starting RB 

Pros: Israel Abanikanda has the opportunity in 2022 to claim a significant role in the Pittsburgh backfield and the flashes of playmaking ability have been intriguing. While Abanikanda has good size at 215 pounds, I’m impressed by the amount of burst and speed he offers. While he has the power expected for his frame and is successful grinding out tough yards and winning after contact, he also has the explosiveness to run off-tackle and gain chunk plays. Abanikanda does well to work off his blocks and string together moves while setting up tacklers to make it difficult for them to get square on him. Abanikanda has demonstrated a baseline skill set as a receiver, showcasing soft hands and creativity with the ball in his hands post-catch. He is a willing pass blocker that has also been given some chances to contribute as a kick returner. 

Cons: Israel Abanikanda has good vision but I stop short of calling it a strength. He feasts when there is displacement up front and in the second level but navigating more congested boxes hasn’t been a strength to this point. He is a willing pass blocker that scans and steps forward but his anchor isn’t overly stout when absorbing contact. While he’s mostly been reliable in the passing game, he isn’t immune to an occasional drop. How he evolves with more opportunity in 2022 is critical for his draft stock.

Israel Abanikanda NFL Draft Scouting Report by Joe Marino