Day One: Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State
For the Buccaneers this year, even though safety is a position of need, there is no reason that with the 5th pick of the draft the Bucs should draft a safety. An argument could be made that this could extend to the 20th pick. But, if the Bucs had a very late first round pick, they could draft Johnathan Abram. Abram would likely be the second Mississippi State player in the draft taken after Montez Sweat.
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Abram had an impressive final season at Mississippi State and a solid Combine to pair with it. In his final season of collegiate play Abram had 99 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, and 2 picks. Abram proved that he was able to be all over the field whether he was lined up at safety or at the nickel back position. His Combine stats also show promise. Abram ran a 4.45 second 40, which was marginally faster than Derwin James’.
Abram is not the jack-of-all-trades that Derwin James is, but his talent is likely comparable. Abram has the ability to line up at cornerback and actually played at that position occasionally in his career. His style of play is one of a hard-hitter, and plays well against the run and the belief is that he still has the capacity to defend in coverage but also excel in one on one open field situations. A player as diverse as Abram would surely help the Bucs secondary, but the bests safety pick would be on day two so that the Buccaneers can use their first round pick on a position of greater need.