Oakland Raiders 2019 rookie class is making an instant impact
By Daniel Davis
Johnathon Abram was my favorite pick of the draft. As a former safety in high school, my favorite players were always defensive backs, guys like Troy Polamalu, John Lynch, Ed Reed, Bob Sanders, and Ronde Barber. Abram reminds me of those players but has the talent to learn and get better in an enormous way and make an impact.
The most respectable part of his game is his toughness. In the opening game, the safety tore a labrum in his shoulder and continued to finish the game. While he was subsequently placed on IR, I saw enough from him in the pre-season and in the Denver game to know he’s going to be a great addition to the secondary in 2020.
Last week, the Raiders sent Gareon Conley to the Houston Texans which thrust Trayvon Mullen into a starting role. Going up against DeAndre Hopkins in his first NFL start isn’t the best matchup, but he made the most of it.
During the game, he played 36 coverage snaps while only being targeted four times with two completions for ten yards. Against Hopkins, he was targeted only once for five yards. Mullen did a good job in run support as well. He had four tackles and one tackle behind the line of scrimmage for a loss on Carlos Hyde, which isn’t easy to do.
Mullen is turning out to be a good pick for the Raiders in the second round and has made the defense better by being more aggressive than Conley, and being more willing to get down behind the line.