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NFL Draft 2019 scouting report: Johnathan Abram is Raiders new punisher

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Abrams is a hard-hitting safety whose style of play can set the tone for the Raider’s defense.

NCAA Football: UL Lafayette at Mississippi State Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

Measurables

5’11”, 205 lbs

Stats

2018: 99 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 7 passes defended, 2 interceptions

2017: 71 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 5 passes defended

Awards

2018 Second Team All-American

2018 First Team All-SEC

Strengths

Johnathan Abram’s calling card is his violence and physicality. A two-year starter at Mississippi State, Abram was a team leader and one of the hardest workers on the team. He flies down the field and finishes tackles with violent intentions. Abram locked down Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson (widely considered the best tight end in the 2019 NFL Draft) during their match-up in the Outback Bowl. He powers through blockers as a blitzer, and was third in the nation in total pressures among safeties (16) according to Pro Football Focus.

Weaknesses

Abram struggles in coverage when he is given the responsibilities of a free safety, such as playing single-high. He doesn’t have a complete feel for spacing and quarterbacks will attack him when he is out of the box. Abram’s violent style of play increases his risk of injury, and his shoulder was flagged at the Senior Bowl.

Verdict

Fit with Raiders

Abram could either replace Karl Joseph or play alongside him. Abram is a similar player but is younger and bigger. With Abram as a pure strong safety, there is a chance Joseph could move to free safety in Paul Guenther’s defense which doesn’t use pure free and strong safeties. Either way, he gives the Silver & Black a violent presence and leadership that can set the tone for their entire defense. Abram should quickly become a fan favorite with his intense style of play.

See BD Williams’s film breakdown here.