The Las Vegas Raiders can finally start to get a better feel of their roster with organized team activities underway. The new coaching staff will have their work cut out for them with many new players being brought in. Perhaps the most interesting position group to watch will be the defensive backs.
Trevon Moehrig should retain one of the starting safety spots after an impressive rookie campaign. The other starting spot appears to be up for grabs. 2019 first-round pick Johnathan Abram started last season but defensive coordinator Patrick Graham runs a very different scheme than Gus Bradley. Abram’s issue in coverage will be much more obvious in Graham’s defense.
He could lose his starting spot to Duron Harmon this offseason unless he’s made major improvements. If Abram can’t hang, the Raiders may explore trading him. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report a “shocking” trade idea that would send Abram to the Baltimore Ravens for safety Chuck Clark:
The Raiders trading for the Baltimore Raven’s Chuck Clark might not be shocking in a vacuum, but acquiring him to replace a former first-round pick in Jonathan Abram would be noteworthy.
The team has already hinted it isn’t all that invested in Abram. He was one of three former first-rounders the new regime elected not to pick up the fifth-year option on.
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Clark Could Be Expendable for Ravens
The Ravens landed one of the best players in the 2022 NFL Draft class when they selected safety Kyle Hamilton out of Notre Dame in the first round. The team also signed former New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams to a $70 million contract during free agency. Hamilton and Williams will almost certainly be the starting safeties when the season starts.
That will leave Clark on the outs, who has started 44 games over the last three seasons. He can’t be thrilled with the Ravens’ decision to add a couple of notable safeties. A change of scenery could be necessary as he’s become expendable. Abram isn’t a great asset for the Ravens so perhaps the Raiders could attach a late-round draft pick to him in a possible trade for Clark.
Maybe Graham Can Get Best out of Abram
Abram is about to play under his third defensive coordinator in four years. It can’t be easy for a young player to have to keep adjusting to new systems. Abram works hard and wants to be a great player. He just struggles too much in coverage to be a reliable defensive pack.
The Raiders may need to explore a different role for him. Having a hybrid linebacker could be a creative way to use him. He loves to hit people and he’d be doing a lot more tackling as a linebacker. The team declined his fifth-year option recently so he has a lot to prove this season. Even if he doesn’t have a long-term future in Las Vegas, he’s auditioning for every team in the NFL in 2022.