It seems like anytime a member of the Oakland Raiders organization has a chance to talk about rookie safety Johnathan Abram, they have nothing but good things to say about him. The first-round pick out of Mississippi State has gained a reputation as a huge talker and this led to him being a big part of the first episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks.
Abram is quickly becoming something of a star. Even though he has a big mouth, his teammates seem to love him. New Raider linebacker Vontaze Burfict had a chance to talk about Abram after Sunday’s practice:
“He has an extreme confidence, I love it though,” said Burfict when asked about Abram. “He shows it in film study, like today, we had a play and he opened his mouth up and, obviously, he said something in front of the defense that kind of gave me the chills. I don’t want to say it because it’s kind of just in house study, he’s going to be a great player for us.”
Though Abram apparently owes the defense money because of dropped interceptions, he’s making it up in other ways. What Abram said that gave Burfict chills will likely remain a mystery, but that’s pretty impressive for a rookie to do to a veteran. Burfict has been in the NFL for a long time and has played in top-notch defenses, so if he’s that impressed with Abram, that should mean a lot. It’ll be exciting to see the rookie unleashed against the Denver Broncos in week one.
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Paul Guenther Is Impressed With Abram’s Wisdom
The Abram praise didn’t stop with Burfict. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther had a chance to show the rookie some love:
“I just think he’s wise beyond his years,” said Guenther when asked about what he’s seen from Abram. “He doesn’t act like a rookie, when he’s out there, he sounds like a seven or eight-year vet and I think the players take notice of that. The thing’s not too big for him.”
Abram seems to be carving out a leadership role on the young Raider defense rather quickly. He’s been impressing with his mouth, but time will tell if he can impress with his play. Based on what his teammates and coaches have said, he can back up his talk. It won’t be known how well his development has come along until he suits up for a regular-season game. That being said, he should be one of the team’s most exciting rookies. The Raiders had really bad safety play last season, so Abram should help a lot in that regard.
Pairing up with veteran Karl Joseph, the two should form an interesting tandem. Joseph hasn’t lived to the fact that he was a high draft pick just yet. He hasn’t been bad, but maybe Abram can help bring the best out of him.