With their third and final pick of the first round, the Oakland Raiders selected safety Johnathan Abrams out of Mississippi State. After going offense with their second pick, they went back to addressing what is still a questionable defense.
With reports that free agent addition Lamarcus Joyner will be playing nickle corner, the Raiders still needed a safety to play opposite Karl Joseph. They have Erick Harris, who made some nice plays last season, but who is likely more of a depth guy. The only thing about the Abram pick is that he plays a very similar role to Karl Joseph.
Joseph has primarily played the role of hard hitting box safety, which is pretty much exactly what Abram is. Some (myself included) believe that Joseph has the range and ball skills to find success in a more free safety style role, so perhaps that’s the idea behind this pick. Or perhaps they want Abram to compete with and beat out Joseph?
There are undoubtedly those who believe that there were better players available at 27 (myself included) and even some safeties that are better than Abram. And perhaps that’s how it will turn out, but until we find out, I’m just happy that they are adding talent to a defense that desperately needs an infusion of talent.