Johnathan Abram

S, Mississippi State

  • Conf SEC
  • Jersey #3
  • Class Senior
  • HT 5'11⅜"
  • DOB 10/25/1996
  • WT 205 lbs




    Range - Adequate range and good long speed, just doesn't play rangy in coverage. Not his style. Much more of a vertical attacking safety than a sideline-to-sideline ball hawk. Belongs closer to the line of scrimmage, lacks the instincts, processing and ball skills to be ideal in a single-high role despite his speed.

    Ball Skills - Zilch. Can't find the ball with his back to it, which results in him frequently playing through the receiver and getting penalized. Doesn't have the instincts or anticipation in zone coverage to jump many routes. 2 interceptions in college, one on a miscommunication throw right to him against Ole Miss and the other he ripped away from a teammate while arriving late to a jump ball.

    Man Coverage - Clunky in his transitions against route runners who know what they are doing. Panics and grabs at the top of routes, generating flags galore (or should-be flags). Struggles to stay in phase out of the route break. T.J. Hockenson separated from him a few times in man. Does flip his hips and run vertically with receivers pretty well, long speed could be an asset against more athletic tight ends.

    Fluidity/Agility - When he overcommits, struggles to redirect in space. At his best moving in a straight line, he can flip and run, but plays too aggressive to change directions quickly. Tight in the hips and doesn't bend angles to finish very well.

    Tackling - Has made huge strides in his tackling from the 2017 season, when he missed tackles left and right. Will still miss a few from time-to-time, but is generally reliable and can get runners down outside his frame and with big hits. Runs the alley with a vengeance, and has learned to throttle down and come in more under control.

    Run Defense - Can play around the line of scrimmage or come from deep and be effective as a run defender. Won't work off of offensive lineman blocks, but I've seen him toss tight ends in multiple games. Can be a little undisciplined and over-pursue up the field, leaving cutback lanes. Runs the alley hard coming from deep, will punish runners who stop their feet near the boundary. Violent playing style and good size lend themselves to the gritty work around the box.

    Route Recognition - Super aggressive to blow up receiver screens. Can also be caught biting on underneath routes and looking into the backfield even as the last line of defense. Has to be more disciplined with his eyes in coverage. Has flashes of good recognition, but too often just looking for the next thing to hit.

    Versatility - Doesn't have the range or instincts to be really effective deep and is still unrefined in man coverage. Has tight end matchup potential and the ability to play in the box and blitz. Should be a special teams demon as a rookie.

    Competitive Toughness - One of the most physical and aggressive players in the draft. Gets after it every snap, wants in on every tackle, every exchange with a blocker is a cage match. Talks trash constantly. The other team is the enemy in his mind. Heralded for his emotional leadership and intensity, but toes a fine line, getting ejected twice for targeting, fighting in the Ole Miss game and even getting ejected from Mississippi State's spring game for an unbelievable devastating hit on a teammate. He's crazy.

    Athleticism/Size - Outstanding size and speed for the position, but it will be interesting to see how quick and fluid he is in agilities at the Combine. Pro-ready frame and doesn't look like he misses many lifts.

    BEST TRAIT - Run Defense/Tackling

    WORST TRAIT - Ball Skills

    RED FLAGS - None

    This man would sooner put you in the hospital than put the ball in the end zone. Abram plays a certifiable crazy brand of football, showing outstanding physicality and competitive toughness regardless of where he lines up. Still, his limitations in coverage show up too often and he won't make many plays on the ball. I'd love to have him on my team as a box safety with the potential to develop in man coverage as a big slot defensive back, but the value for a player like that doesn't exactly line up with Abram's first round hype.