The Jacksonville Jaguars selected 13 players during the 2023 NFL Draft, most in franchise history. One of the best picks from their haul was Louisville edge Yasir Abdullah at 136th overall.
Dan Pizzuta of Sharp Football Analysis listed Abdullah as one of seven rookies “who landed in a perfect spot for their skill set.”
The only player in this draft class with more quarterback hits than Abdullah during the 2022 college football season was Will Anderson Jr.
He’s also one of the more athletic pass rushers in this draft class with a 98th percentile forty (4.47) and 96th percentile broad jump, as well as athletic comps to the likes of Nolan Smith and Haason Reddick.
The knock is he’s undersized — 6-foot-1 and 237 pounds — and he could be considered a bit of a tweener for the NFL level.
Last season at Louisville, Abdullah rushed the passer on 73% of his pass snaps. But being a “tweener” should actually fit well with how the Jaguars want to deploy their pass rushers.
Last season, Josh Allen rushed on 85% of his pass snaps and Travon Walkerdid so on 85.6%, per TruMedia.
The ability to rush and drop back into coverage will be a celebrated trait for Jacksonville, and it’s less likely Abdullah falls into a role that only sees him as strictly a pass rusher or strictly a linebacker.
The Jaguars also are in desperate need to create meaningful pressure.
Jacksonville was third in pressure rate and eighth in hit rate last season but 27th in sack rate. The team is also without Arden Key and Dawuane Smoot, who accounted for 9.5 of Jacksonville’s 35 sacks in 2022.
Abdullah can fire off the line and be in the backfield so quickly the force knocks the ball out. He had four forced fumbles on pass rushes last season while he had a 19.3% pressure rate that was third in this class.
Over the past three seasons, he had eight forced fumbles and 38 tackles for loss.
It won’t be difficult to imagine Abdullah making his way onto the field as a rotational pass rusher and making an impact on whatever snaps he gets.