Johnathan Abram already living up to expectations in Oakland

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It didn’t take Johnathan Abram long to begin taking first-team reps. It’s exactly what the Raiders expected when they drafted the Mississippi State safety with the 27th overall pick.

He’s smart,” Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said, via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “He’s real smart. From a rookie player, with all the stuff safeties have to know, he’s on top of it each and every day. So it’s good to have him. When you’re back there, as I stand at the back of the defense, I hear him communicate. He doesn’t sound like a rookie player. He sounds like a veteran player.”

Abram is expected to start the Sept. 9 season opener opposite Karl Joseph on the back end of the team’s defense. He was part of a defense-heavy draft, joining defensive end Clelin Ferrell, cornerback Trayvon Mullen, defensive end Maxx Crosby, cornerback Isaiah Johnson and defensive end Quinton Bell.

Abram has looked the part, per Gehlken.

“He’s an alpha,” nickel cornerback Lamarcus Joyner said. “He just has to slow it down. He’s ready to go. He’s been an alpha all of his life, and I told him that you just have to think, keep your feet on the ground and let things come to him.”