The Las Vegas Raiders‘ drafts under Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock just keep looking worse and worse in hindsight. The new regime has already cut two former first-round picks in the past year and those players aren’t having success elsewhere. Johnathan Abram was the most recent former first-round pick by the team to get cut but he landed on his feet with the Green Bay Packers.
However, his stint with the Packers was short-lived. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Green Bay is waiving Abram so that they can get a better look at their young players.
The Packers are having a nightmare season and have a record of 4-8. It makes sense to give some young players a chance to develop. They clearly didn’t see Abram as a contributor going into the future. He’s a fiery player who plays with a lot of passion but his issues in pass coverage have sunk his career. He’s not good enough in the running game to overcome his liability in coverage. He’ll land with another team but his days as a starter are likely over. It’s also possible that he could be moved to linebacker next season if he puts on weight. That would be a much better position for his skillset.
Broncos Could Be Landing Spot for Abram
Abram may not have to wait long to land on another team. He’ll be sent to waivers, which will give every team in the NFL a chance to claim him. There wasn’t a ton of interest in him when the Raiders put him on waivers but there was one other team that was willing to bring him in.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Denver Broncos attempted to claim Abram but the Packers had higher priority on the waiver wire.
The Broncos’ season is essentially over as they fell to 3-8 this week. They might not be as interested in adding Abram at this point. However, if he does clear waivers and becomes a free agent, he becomes more appealing. He’ll be able to be added to a practice squad at that point. A practice squad is likely his best bet. It’s still possible the Packers might want to bring him back in on the practice squad. If not, the Broncos are a team to keep an eye on when it comes to Abram.
Raiders Defense Finally Starting to Make Plays
It’s been a rough year for the Raiders’ defense and Abram’s dismissal didn’t solve the issues. However, the group is starting to make plays. The team doesn’t win the last two games if wasn’t for plays on the defensive side of the ball. Head coach Josh McDaniels has been impressed with his defense in recent weeks.
“We kind of talked a lot last week about the pressure in the middle was really going to be important for us in general. And I thought JT [Jerry Tillery] and [Andrew] Billings and [Bilal] Nichol, they all kind of showed up at one point or another in the pass rush,” McDaniels said Monday. ”Everybody focuses so much on our two ends, and deservedly so, but I think the inside guys being able to create some pressure, or even the wall that’s built inside so that the quarterback can go forward and then get out of the way from the two ends, I think it all kind of plays together. As I’ve said before, those guys are all learning how to play with one another, whether it’s the four of them in a pass rush or a game on one side or another. That’s something that we keep working on, because I think we can make progress in that area. Again, JT has only been here a couple weeks. So, he’s working with, whether it’s Chandler [Jones] or Maxx [Crosby] on the edge or Cle [Clelin Ferrell], being able to operate in those types of situations is important. But it definitely showed up on the film; when we got middle pressure on him, those are some of our best plays.”