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Packers gambling on former first-round pick shows how desperate they are

The Green Bay Packers claimed former Las Vegas Raiders safety and first-round pick Johnathan Abram off waivers on Wednesday.

The Las Vegas Raiders entered the 2022 league year with a new regime of general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels. They have not hesitated in moving on from former players of the previous regime, including first-round pick Alex Leatherwood.

On Tuesday, the team waived 2019 first-round pick and safety Johnathan Abram after three-plus years with the team. That meant teams had a chance to claim the hard-hitting defensive back. One team has not hesitated.

The Green Bay Packers officially claimed Abram on waivers, hoping he can help improve their defensive backfield.

Packers claim former Raiders first-round pick Johnathan Abram

The Raiders had reportedly tried to trade Abram at the deadline, but they could not reach an agreement with a team. Hence their decision to waive him.

Abram was the last of the Raiders’ three first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft by general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden. His first season ended after the opening game, as he suffered a torn rotator cuff, and sidelined him for the rest of the year.

Last season, Abram recorded a career-high 116 combined tackles in 14 games.

Playing in eight games (six starts), Abram posted 48 combined tackles and one defended pass. In pass coverage, Abram allowed 27 receptions for 260 yards on 37 targets, per Pro Football Reference.

Abram now reunites with special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia in Green Bay. When Gruden stepped down as head coach last year due to the email scandal last year, Bisaccia took over on an interim basis for the rest of the season. Bisaccia helped lead the Raiders to the playoffs last year, but he was not retained.

Now, Abram will join a Packers safety room consisting of Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage. It will be worth monitoring when exactly he will make his debut with the team. The Packers face the Dallas Cowboys this weekend, hoping to bring an end to their five-game losing streak.

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