Johnathan Abram 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Johnathan Abram
STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 06: Johnathan Abram #38 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs celebrates during the second half against the Auburn Tigers at Davis Wade Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Safety
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 205 pounds
School: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.45 seconds (7th among safeties)
Broad Jump: 9 feet, 8 inches

Johnathan Abram 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Columbia, MS is an area known for producing NFL players such as Terrell Buckley, Bobby Hamilton and the great Walter Payton. The city’s next NFL bound player is Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram. Abram went on to attend East Mason High Scool and was a dominant two-way player. He served as the team’s starting safety and starting quarterback for two years and led his team to the state semifinals his senior season. Abram recorded 88 tackles, five interceptions and two forced fumbles along with 1,288 rushing yards, 1,737 passing yards and 40 total touchdowns. He also played three years of baseball while at East Mason but wound up choosing football to pursue long term.

Abram was a three-star recruit according to ESPN and Scout.com and the Mississippi Native eventually chose to attend the University of Georgia. He enrolled early in 2015 and wound up starting five games as a freshman for the Bulldogs. He recorded 25 total tackles in 2015 but at the end of that season, Mark Richt was fired which disappointed Abram. Georgia’s then-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Gabe Pruitt left to take the same position at Alabama which resulted in Abram walking away from the program.

Abram went on to play one season at Jones County Junior College in Mississippi and recorded 25 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Abram was ranked as the number one junior college safety at the end of the season and he eventually committed to Mississippi State. In 2017, Abram played in all 13 games and made seven starts for the Bulldogs defense. He finished second on the team with 71 tackles including five tackles for loss, two sacks, five pass deflections, and two forced fumbles.

On a very talented Bulldogs defense in 2018, Abram led the unit with 99 total tackles and recorded nine tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, and five pass deflections. Abram went on to be named to first-team All-SEC, third team All-American by the Associated Press and received an invitation to the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Strengths

  • high football IQ;
  • diagnoses plays before they even play out;
  • takes great pursuit angles;
  • comes downhill with an elite level of acceleration;
  • a heavy hitter who repeatedly punishes ball carriers;
  • fights through wide receivers’ blocks with ease;
  • an effective blitzer;
  • played in the box a lot and provides great run support;
  • has fairly decent zone coverage skills;
  • very solid in man coverage against receivers and tight ends;
  • plays with a high level of intensity and energy;

Weaknesses

  • relies too heavily on making big hits and rarely wraps up when tackling;
  • dives at bigger ball carriers’ legs at times;
  • coverage skills over the top could be better;
  • plays the receiver rather than the ball in coverage;
  • hips are not the most fluid, a little tight in transitions;
  • struggles in coverage against the faster and quicker receivers;
  • lacks a diverse skillset meaning he won’t be as versatile to a defense;

NFL Comparison: Kurt Coleman

Teams with a need at the position: Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Predictions: Late first round to mid second round

Bottom Line

Abram is a part of a very talented safety draft class this off-season. While other safeties may be more versatile than Abram, what he lacks in versatility he makes up for in intensity with his high motor. The former Bulldog is the hardest hitting defensive player in this draft class and paired with his instincts and high football IQ, he’s bound to make an NFL defensive coordinator happy. Teams that need a box safety that can help in run support and cover short to intermediate routes will drool over Abram’s skillset.

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