The Raiders had one of the most exciting rookie classes during the 2019 season and the group impressed even without one of their top prospects. Safety Johnathan Abram only got to play in one game before heading to the injured reserve. Though he didn’t get much of a chance to show his ability on the football field, the Raiders could’ve really used his help as the pass defense struggled greatly.
The team is really high on his potential and he’s clearly becoming a big star in the fan base despite only playing one game. With the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, Abram is excited about what 2020 will bring.
“Everyone is embracing us with open arms,” Abram said, per Vic Tafur at The Athletic. “The players are already excited to get over and get started. The new facility is so much bigger and better than what we’re coming from, but the draft and the new stadium, that’s Vegas. They do everything bigger and better.
“We can’t wait.”
Allegiant Stadium is getting closer and closer to finishing construction and it’s already receiving a lot of praise. It looks like the right place for the Raiders to play and Abram had the perfect way to describe the stadium.
“It’s going to be where other teams’ dreams come to die,” he said.
Abram Is Close to Being 100%
The Raiders need Abram in 2020 and that means he’s going to need to get healthy. Fortunately, the young defensive back told Tafur that he’s 90% healthy. Offseason workouts are still a couple of months out, so Abram has more than enough time to get to 100%. However, the Raiders need to make sure he plays smarter.
Abram has made it very clear that he plays with maximum effort at all times. While that certainly can be a good thing, it’s not necessarily good for his body. He needs to play smarter, not harder. Abram could be a breakout star in 2020, but he’s going to need to stay healthy to make that happens.
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Abram Explains Why Raiders Faltered in 2019
Through 11 weeks during the season, the Raiders were feeling good. They were 6-4 and on a three-game winning streak. Much of that was thanks to the production from the rookies. However, thanks to the team’s youth and injuries piling up, the Raiders went 1-5 down the stretch.
“We just have to get better week in and week out,” Abram said. “And we have to stay healthy. That may have been our biggest issue last year. We have a lot of talent. Some people may have thought our rookie class was a surprise, but not me. I knew what we were all capable of.
“We may have had some success that we weren’t ready for, and ended up throwing it all away. But we are a young team and we learned from that.”
Every team deals with injuries and while the Raiders were definitely hit pretty badly, they need to acquire more depth. Also, the lack of experience on the roster didn’t do the team any favors. As the impressive young players gain more experience, the team should get more consistent. Getting Abram back should definitely help things as long as he stays healthy.