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Johnathan Abram - An Enforcer The Redskins Could Use At Strong Safety

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

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

Johnathan Abram, Safety
School: Mississippi State | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 205 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd or 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: DJ Swearinger

College Statistics

Player Overview

Johnathan Abram is going to be a savage in the secondary for the team that drafts him in April. The Columbia, Mississippi native was considered a three-star recruit coming out of East Marion High School. Abram originally committed to playing for the University of Georgia as a result of heavy recruitment by defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt. Abram played his Freshmen season in Athens before current Head Coach Kirby Smart was hired by the Bulldogs and Pruitt left to become the defensive coordinator at the University of Alabama. After this coaching personnel shift, Abram decided to leave Georgia. For his Sophomore season he would play at Jones County Junior College in Mississippi. After that year 24/7 Sports ranked him as the 10th overall JUCO prospect. By leaving the conference completely, Abram was allowed to play in the conference of his choosing for his Junior and Senior seasons.

For Johnathan’s Junior and Senior campaigns he returned to the SEC Conference, enrolled at Mississippi State University, and became a terror on the back end of their defense. Abram quickly became known as a big-hitter and enforcer in the SEC. In 2018, the Mississippi State Bulldog defense was the number one scoring defense in the country. Abram was a big part of that, along with his fellow draft prospect teammates Montez Sweat and Jeffery Simmons. Abram’s outstanding Senior season earned him AP First-Team All-SEC & Third-Team All-American honors.

Abram is a downhill force against the run game and a more than acceptable coverage man in the passing game. He is a Safety who appears to diagnose a play quickly and get to the ball in a hurry. And in watching film, one thing is certain, he is not afraid of contact. However, his aggression can get the best of him at times as his adrenaline seems to send him into plays a bit out of control. With the correct coaching and patience, this should be able to get cleaned up at the next level.

Strengths

  • Hard hitting classic Strong Safety who plays with violent intentions.
  • His coaches and teammates love his high motor and energy. Was not observed “taking plays off” on film
  • Vocal team leader on the back end of the defense and in the huddle
  • Has the range and speed in run support to get downhill in a hurry. Had 9 tackles for a loss as a Senior
  • Above average blitzing skills that are ideal for an in-the-box type Safety
  • Consistently observed attempting to strip the ball away from the ball carrier
  • Possesses a thick frame, which should help him stand up to the violent contact that comes with playing Safety in the NFL

Weaknesses

  • Needs to improve his ball skills, only generated two interceptions in his college career. Seems to struggle with tracking the ball in the air.
  • Aggressive style at times has led him to overrun plays and take bad angles. Needs to do a better job of playing under control and cutting down the missed tackles
  • Plays with stiffness in his hips, which can be a liability in man coverage
  • He could stand to raise his target as many times he just throws himself at the ankles of the running back or receiver

Let’s See His Work:

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

With a hole at Safety created by the release of defensive captain DJ Swearinger the Redskins could look to the draft to fill a need. Currently the roster has Montae Nicholson (probable suspension coming for involvement in a physical altercation), Troy Apke (a project at the position who would need to make enormous strides to be a large contributor this year), Adonis Alexander (Another project and former supplemental draft pick), and Deshazor Everett (meh) slotted as possible starters at Safety for next season. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is an unrestricted free agent and may decide to sign elsewhere. Even if they were to re-sign Clinton-Dix, more help is needed.

Abram could come in and immediately start at Strong Safety for the Redskins. His playing style is eerily similar to Swearinger, so the defense could move forward without missing much of a beat. While he may not have the “swag” or the mouth that DJ had, he has the potential to be an early contributor and future defensive leader. Plus, it would be wise for the Redskins to bring in a player with his prowess for attacking running backs. After all, we play in a division that features Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley. Should he be available when the Skins are picking on day two of the draft, Abram could be just what the doctor ordered for the team’s secondary. Will he even still be on the board by then? Stay tuned Skins fans.