The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram will be one of the most notable safeties in the draft come April.
2018 stats: 99 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, five passes defended, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble
Size: 5-foot-11, 205 pounds
Abram enrolled at Georgia to begin his career and started four games, but let for JUCO before the end of his first season. After JUCO, he played two seasons at Mississippi State, becoming one of the best safeties in the country in the process.
In his career at the Division I level, Abram totaled 195 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, two interceptions, 10 passes defended, one fumble recovery and three forced fumbles. Abram helped lead Mississippi State to a 9-4 record in 2017 and an 8-5 record in 2018. This past season, Abram was one of the best players on a defense that allowed just 13.2 points per game. He was recognized as an All-American by many different outlets for his play in 2018.
Not only does Abram play at an elite level, but he also has solid experience too. He may not be a first-round selection, but he will likely be one of the first safeties selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Abram is one of the best in-the-box safeties in the class, because of his ability to help against the run. He often plays near the line of scrimmage, can shed or get around blocks and tackle the ball carrier. This will make him a strong safety in the NFL, as he has clearly shown the ability to play almost like an extra linebacker.
His strength and physicality are also traits that are among the best safeties in the draft class. Abram can lay down some big hits due to his size and play style. He uses his strength well and is not an easy player to block. This makes him a solid blitzer. His size and physicality could allow him to move to linebacker, much like Deone Bucannon, who has a similar frame.
He isn’t the perfect tackler, but for the most part is able to make the play once he gets to the ball. He wraps up and lays big hits down on whoever has the ball. Abram has good enough range and has a big enough body that he can both get to the ball carrier and bring them down on a lot of plays.
He was inconsistent in man coverage over his time at Mississippi State. Abram gave up leverage to receivers who then broke out of their cuts and got open for the reception. He’ll be able to cover some tight ends and wide receivers, but teams will be able to create mismatches on him to get receivers open.
His speed will also be a concern. He has size and is athletic, but doesn’t have the speed to cover some of the faster receivers. He also doesn’t have the best range as a safety, because of his speed, which could limit how a team could use him.
Abram also has questionable ball skills. In his two seasons at Mississippi State, he had just two interception and 10 passes defended. He can get his hands in the way of receiver, but doesn’t high-point the ball or pick off many passes.
Projected Draft Range: First round-Second Round