The drafts of the Las Vegas Raiders under Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock look worse and worse in hindsight. The new regime has already eliminated two former first-round picks over the past year and those players are not finding success elsewhere. Johnathan Abram was the team’s youngest former first-round pick to be cut, but he landed on his feet at the Green Bay Packers.
However, his stint with the Packers was short-lived. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Green Bay are waiving Abram so they can better see their young players.
The Packers are having a nightmare season and have a 4-8 record. It makes sense to give some young players a chance to develop. They clearly did not see Abram as a contributor going into the future. He’s a fiery player who plays with a lot of passion, but his pass coverage problems have ruined his career. He’s not good enough in the running game to overcome his adhesion in cover. He’ll end up with another team, but his days as a starter are probably over. It’s also possible he’ll be promoted to linebacker next season if he gains weight. That would be a much better position for his skills.
Abram might not have to wait long to end up on another team. He is sent on waivers giving every team in the NFL a chance to claim him. There wasn’t much interest in him when the Raiders put him on waivers, but there was another team willing to bring him in.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Denver Broncos attempted to claim Abram, but the Packers had a higher priority regarding the waiver.
The Broncos’ season is essentially over as they fell to 3-8 this week. You might not be that keen on adding Abram at this point. However, if he makes clear disclaimers and becomes a free agent, he becomes more attractive. At this point he can be added to a practice team. A practice team is probably his best bet. It’s still possible the Packers want him back on the practice squad. If not, the Broncos are a team to watch when it comes to Abram.
It’s been a tough year for the Raiders’ defense and Abram’s firing didn’t solve the problems. However, the group begins to do plays. The team won’t win the last two games if they don’t play on the defensive side of the ball. Head coach Josh McDaniels has been impressed with his defense in recent weeks.
“We talked a lot last week about how the pressure in the middle was going to be really important for us in general. And I thought JT [Jerry Tillery] and [Andrew] bills and [Bilal] Nichol, they all showed up in passing frenzy at some point,” McDaniels said Monday. “Everyone’s so focused on both our ends, and rightly so, but I think the guys on the inside can create some pressure, or even the wall that’s built on the inside for the quarterback to go forward and then get out of the way can go two endings, I think it all kind of plays together. Like I said, these guys are all learning how to play with each other, whether it’s the four in a pass rush or a play on one side or the other. We continue to work on that because I think we can make progress in this area. Again, JT has only been here a few weeks. So, he’s working with whether it’s Chandler [Jones] or Max [Crosby] at the edge or cle [Clelin Ferrell]It is important to be able to act in such situations. But it definitely showed in the film; When we put medium pressure on him, those were some of our best games.