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The lightbulb might have finally come on for Johnathan Abram

Young Raiders safety had promising a game against the Ravens

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders
Johnathan Abram
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of attention on recent top defensive Las Vegas Raiders draft picks who haven’t yet become a part of Gus Bradley’s defense such as defensive end Clelin Ferrell and Damon Arnette.

Ferrell was inactive on Monday night in a Raiders’ 33-27 overtime home loss over the Baltimore Ravens, and Arnette played just one defensive snap in the game. That, of course, is far from ideal production.

But the Raiders can take solace that another young defender may be coming around under Bradley. Safety Johnathan Abram — the No. 27 overall draft pick in 2019 — had a solid performance in the win over the Ravens. Abram had 10 tackles (five solo) in the win. In our winners and losers post on Tuesday, writer Matt Holder listed Abram as one of his Raiders’ winners against the Ravens.

Also on Tuesday, Raiders coach Jon Gruden praised Abram for his effort.

“He showed up big time with some range plays, and open-field tackling” Gruden said. “He was in the right places. He was good emotionally ... He seemed to understand his role on this defense ... A lot of things came together (Monday night).”

The things Gruden was talking about were the exact areas that Abram, who missed all but one game as a rookie with a shoulder injury, needed to work on after an uneven 2020 season. He often took wrong angles on tackles, suffered in coverage and had poor on-field discipline.

Perhaps he is making strides under Bradley. It wasn’t a perfect outing for Abram, He had some whiffs and lost his composure a bit. But he showed progress and that has to be considered a victory for the Raiders,