Las Vegas Raiders: 5 players set to turn heads at 2021 training camp
Johnathan Abram – Strong Safety
The Raiders have never had a reason to light a fire under Johnathan Abram as he has always been a fierce competitor and leader on the defense. If anything, the team would have wanted to dial down the heat on Abram’s fire so he can play in a more controlled and mature way.
This offseason there is a different sort of fire being lit under Abram, the one that could see him riding the bench if he doesn’t perform up to the level we expect from him. The Raiders added three safeties to the roster this offseason and have a replacement in Karl Joseph ready in case Abram continues to make some of the same mistakes he did in 2020.
Abram does have a massive factor in his favor and that is playing for a coordinator in Gus Bradley who can utilize him the right way and channel his aggression towards making plays and not mistakes. The Athletic has talked about Abram being a potential breakout candidate for the Raiders because of his “natural fit as a box safety” in Bradley’s scheme and that “he’ll be closer to the ball now and able to fly around and make plays”.
The young safety has been poor in coverage but he has plenty of talent as a disruptor and his aggression lead to plenty of highlight plays in the run game. We will get to see very early on if Abram can adapt to this change of scheme and if Bradley can get the best out of his young defensive leader.