The Oakland Raiders have officially signed 2019 NFL Draft first round pick safety Johnathan Abram to his rookie contract. The team announced the rookie’s signing shortly after announcing rookie defensive end Clelin Ferrell’s signing.
The Raiders selected Abram with their third first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft — 27th overall. Abram played college ball at Mississippi State during his final two seasons after spending his freshman year at the University of Georgia. He also spent one year after Georgia playing for Jones County Junior College in Mississippi.
Across his D-1 collegiate career, Abram put up 195 total tackles, five sacks, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles. His senior year was a particular highlight in his career. Abram totaled 99 tackles and his two interceptions across his final year at Mississippi State.
Abram also showed versatility by forcing those three fumbles in his final two seasons, and even recovering one fumble in his senior year. On top of that, he also managed to rack up three of his five sacks in his senior year.
Abram is yet another defensive piece that the Raiders accumulated in the 2019 NFL Draft. After a rough 2018 season and giving up the most points in the NFL, using six of nine draft picks on the defense was a smart move.
Abram will most likely have an immediate impact on the Raiders. He may start alongside recently signed safety Lamarcus Joyner. Both Joyner and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther were complimentary of the rookie safety’s skills and mindset.
Although giving up the 14th most passing yards in 2018, the Raiders did allow the most passing touchdowns last season with 36. The team also grabbed an average amount of interceptions with 14, but there is still room to improve. Abram will ideally improve both of those categories.
Abram is a Mississippi native and played his high school football in Columbia, MS. After transferring out of Georgia, he returned to Mississippi, hoping to get back to a D-1 school. Before committing to Mississippi State, Abram actually received another scholarship to come back to Georgia.