Johnathan Abram

Raiders safety Johnathan Abram surprises his mom with brand new house


Raiders safety Johnathan Abram surprises his mom with brand new house

Raiders safety Johnathan Abram didn't let the coronavirus pandemic stop him from taking care of a very important piece of business Saturday.

Abram, who appeared in just one game during his rookie season, posted a video and a photo on social media indicating he bought his mom a new house.

In the video, Abram and his mom were standing outside the garage of the house when the door starts to open, revealing family and friends, who yelled "Surprise" and came out to greet her.

As you might imagine, Abram's mom got emotional.

At the end of the video, you can see a sign in the back of the garage that says "Welcome home."

The incredible gesture by Abram comes nine months after he bought his mom a brand-new car.

The Raiders used the No. 27 overall pick to draft Abram out of Mississippi State last year.

Coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock had high hopes for Abram, but he sustained a torn rotator cuff in the 2019 opener against the Denver Broncos and underwent season-ending shoulder surgery.

[RELATED: Abram fined for hit he got injured on]

Things didn't go the way Abram wanted on the field this past year, but off the field, everything has gone right for the 23-year-old and his family.

NFL free agency: Byron Jones, Anthony Harris can save Raiders' secondary

NFL free agency: Byron Jones, Anthony Harris can save Raiders' secondary

The Raiders enter the new league year with their inaugural Las Vegas season on the horizon and plenty of areas to improve.

Coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock will once again look to do damage in the NFL draft, where the Raiders have five picks in the top 92. The Silver and Black also have over $50 million in salary cap room to play with in free agency. Most of that should be allocated to fixing a defense that bordered on offensive at times, with their secondary surrendering 33 touchdowns and 256.7 yards through the air per game. 

The Raiders liked what they saw out of cornerback Trayvon Mullen, who showed shutdown capability toward the end of the year. They hope to get a full year of safety Johnathan Abram, who tore his rotator cuff in Week 1 and never was seen again.

With money to play with, the Raiders should spend big on their secondary, taking that from a point of weakness to a strength before turning their attention to the other two levels of their defense.

The Raiders largely whiffed in free agency a season ago, with right tackle Trent Brown being the only surefire winner. That won't stop them from going hunting, and defensive backs Byron Jones and Anthony Harris should be their main targets to save a leaky secondary.

Byron Jones, CB

Last season, the Raiders ranked dead last in Expected Points Added (EPA) per pass allowed. They were last in 2018 as well. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther needs another solid corner opposite Mullen, and Jones is the best cornerback on the market in this free-agent class.

After bouncing around secondary positions for a few years, Jones has shined at outside corner for the Dallas Cowboys since 2018. Last season, Jones had a forced incompletion rate of 15.1 percent, good for 22nd in the NFL. He also held opponents to 11 yards per reception last season. Jones, 27, has elite coverage skills and a high football IQ. His lack of takeaways might seem to be a red flag, but that could change in a different scheme.

Jones likely will come with a high price tag ($16 million per year), but that's a price worth paying for an elite press corner. Jones allowed just 0.39 yards per coverage snap last season. That was the second-lowest in the NFL. Daryl Worley, who Jones would be replacing, ranked last. 

The Raiders won't be the only team going after Jones, as the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and others are expected to be in the running. But the Raiders can give him the contract he covets and should, giving them two lockdown corners for the next handful of years. 

Anthony Harris, S

When Abram went down last season in Week 1, the Raiders' secondary was thrown into flux and never fully recovered. Joseph played well at the opposite safety before going on IR after Week 10. 

Curtis Riley was an abject disaster in coverage. Lamarcus Joyner, who seems better suited to play deep, stayed at slot corner and was underwhelming. Erik Harris was solid after being inserted in the lineup, but he isn't a long-term solution.

Enter: Anthony Harris.

The Minnesota Vikings safety is an interception king. He has as many picks (nine) dating back to Week 6 of the 2018 season as the Raiders did all of last year. Over the last two seasons, Harris has nine interceptions, seven pass breakups and only has missed four of his 100 tackle attempts.

He also has the highest two-year coverage grade for any safety, via Pro Football Focus.

Harris is a versatile playmaker who can play in the box, cover in the slot or play deep safety. The ability to wear multiple hats is something that should appeal to Gruden and Guenther. 

Last season, the Raiders ranked 30th in passing defense per DVOA and 29th in interceptions. They have to find a way to stop explosive plays and get off the field on third down.

Harris can help with both of those, giving Abram a dynamic safety partner to gel with as the franchise moves to Las Vegas.

[RELATED: Al Davis would love Justin Herbert, but does he have Raiders' attention?]

The Raiders need to evaluate each and every position on their team. Outside of Mullen, Abram, Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell, the defense needs a complete overhaul. They can, and should, look to address the linebacker hole in the draft, and can add to the defensive line with some cheaper veteran options.

The big-spending should come on Jones and Harris, allowing the Raiders to have their secondary set for the next five years.

Foster Moreau defends Raiders' 2019 rookie class, claps back on Twitter

Foster Moreau defends Raiders' 2019 rookie class, claps back on Twitter

Oh, the disrespect. 

The Raiders' 2019 draft class was one of the best in recent seasons, in all of the NFL. Running back Josh Jacobs was an Offensive Rookie of the Year finalist, and defensive end Maxx Crosby was up for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Apparently that doesn't mean much to's Gennaro Filice and Nick Shook. 

The duo of writers gave the Silver and Black's rookie class an A- grade, but ranked them as just the seventh-best in the NFL. That didn't sit well with Raiders rookie tight end Foster Moreau. 

As Moreau's tweet shows, the Raiders' rookie class finished first in rushing yards, first in receptions, first in yards from scrimmage, first in scrimmage TDs and first in sacks. Case closed. 

Moreau himself had 21 receptions for 174 yards and caught five TDs in 13 games. The fourth-round draft pick's rookie year was cut short with a knee injury. Before his injury, he impressed coaches as a run blocker, pass protector and receiver.

On offense, Jacobs led the way. Many believe he was snubbed as Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray was voted as Offensive Rookie of the Year. Jacobs broke almost every Raiders rookie rushing record, most of which were previously held by Marcus Allen. The Alabama product averaged 4.8 yards per carry and had 1,1150 rushing yards despite missing three of the last four games with a fractured shoulder.

Hunter Renfrow, selected in the fifth round of the draft, had the second-most receiving yards by a Raiders receiver this season, despite also missing three games to injury. Renfrow finished the 2019 season with 49 receptions for 605 yards and four touchdowns. 

Crosby, a steal out of the fourth round, totaled 10 sacks -- the second-most by any rookie throughout the league. He led the Raiders in sacks and tackles for loss (19), 9.5 more than fellow rookie teammate Clelin Ferrell. 

[RELATED: How Raiders' 2019 rookies are laying bedrock for success]

Ferrell, the No. 4 pick in last year's draft, vowed to return a completely different player. Safety Johnathan Abram, the No. 27 pick from last year, will be back and healthy in 2020.

The Raiders had a three-win improvement this past season. With a great rookie season behind them, the 2019 draft class can take the Raiders to new heights as they move to Las Vegas.