American Football

The pick is in: Jaguars select Yasir Abdullah 136th overall


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 12 Louisville at Clemson
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jacksonville selects the Louisville linebacker/edge rusher at the top of the fifth round.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were back on the clock with the first pick of the fifth round, and selected Louisville linebacker/edge rusher Yasir Abdullah with the 136th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Abdullah was a first-team All-ACC secretion in 2022 after recorded 63 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, two interceptions and four fumbles forced.

In 61 career games as a Cardinal, Abdullah amassed 210 total tackles, 43 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, 11 passes defended, eight forced fumbles, three fumbles recovered and three interceptions.

  • Prospect name: Yasir Abdullah
  • Hometown: Miramar, Florida
  • Position: Linebacker
  • School: Louisville
  • Year: Fifth-year senior
  • Age at draft: 23
  • Height: 6-foot-1 (2%)
  • Weight: 237 lbs (2%)
  • Hand Size: 9 1/4” (12%)
  • Arm Length: 32 3/8” (57%)

Percentiles via MockDraftable

Scouting report from Bleacher Report:

Yasir Abdullah is an exceptional athlete as an edge defender. He earned a 9.72 RAS score at the combine and has some quick twitch and bend to him that could make him an intriguing pass-rusher at the next level. However, his run defense is a work in progress.

Abdullah does have good instincts as a run defender to put himself in a position to take on blocks, but he lacks size and strength, which will be a bigger issue against NFL offensive tackles. He’ll struggle to hold his ground and set the edge, and he doesn’t use his hands when taking on blocks, which makes escaping difficult.

The Louisville prospect would be best as a pass-rush specialist on Sundays. An odd front team could see him as a standup linebacker on the line of scrimmage, but his size will still be an issue in that scheme, and he doesn’t have much room for growth. Given that, switching to off-ball linebacker could be in the cards for him, and he did show solid coverage skills in college.

Prospect overview from Lance Zierlein of

Teams will need to decide whether to play him as a 3-4 rusher or try him as an off-ball linebacker in a 4-3 defense. One look at the size and length will turn most 3-4 teams off, but the tape tells a different story. His leverage, power and agility mitigate size issues, while his nose for the football has created production as a run defender, pass rusher and special teams tackler. He’s not a fluid mover, but he’s hardly stiff and is always near the play. The rush production might not be translatable on the next level, but Abdullah has the talent and tenacity to become a solid pro who can play immediately on special teams.

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