Over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking at each of the Jets draft picks. We’re now looking at each of the undrafted rookies, continuing today with an in-depth look at former Kent State wide receiver Keshunn Abram.
The 23-year old Abram is listed at 6’2” and 193 pounds and caught 47 passes for 699 yards and three scores with the Golden Flashes last year. Prior to that he had spent two seasons with the team and two years playing at JUCO level.
Abram wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school and ended up going to play for Northwest Mississippi Community College at the JUCO level. After catching just two passes in his first season, he increased his role in 2018 and caught 21 passes for 336 yards and a touchdown.
After this, he transferred to Kent State, but struggled to establish a role for himself over his first two seasons, catching 10 passes for 136 yards and two scores.
However, Abram opted to return for 2021 and broke out with almost 700 receiving yards on 47 catches. This included a breakout game against Iowa where he posted over 120 receiving yards in the first half. Other than Purdue’s David Bell, no other receiver posted more than 81 in any game against Iowa last year. Abram also had a 100-yard game against Miami-Ohio.
At the end of his final season, Abram wasn’t invited to the combine or any high profile all-star games, but he had a decent pro day workout and the Jets opted to sign him as an undrafted free agent.
Now let’s take a look at what Abram brings to the table, divided into categories.
Although Abram is listed at 6’2”, his length and catch radius are actually below average. However, he’s a good athlete.
At his pro day, Abram posted an outstanding broad jump of 128 inches and a very good 37.5 inch vertical. However, he tweaked his quad running his 40-yard dash and didn’t do the agility drills. Abram posted a 4.53 on the aborted run, but claims to have gone under 4.3 during training.
In addition to these numbers, Abram also managed 16 bench press reps during his pro day workout.
Abram lined up primarily on the outside and usually on the left side of the formation. He only played in the slot from time to time. In high school, Abram has also played as a free safety.
Abram had always shown some flashes of downfield ability but didn’t really establish himself in that area until 2021. He had one long touchdown at the JUCO level but his longest play in his first two years with Kent State was just 26 yards.
However, in 2021, he got behind the defense several times for big plays and arguably would’ve had much better numbers if his quarterbacks didn’t keep underthrowing him.
Kent State runs a fast tempo offense which perhaps limits the scope for the receivers to showcase any abilities on slow-developing routes. As we’ve established, Abram can get deep and he couples this threat with a good ability to break down on stop routes and comebackers.
He also makes some effort to disguise his routes by varying his speed and changing direction although this could arguably be cleaned up to become more efficient because he can take false steps.
Here’s a first down where Abram breaks quickly across the middle to get to the marker on a 2nd-and-6 play.
Abram caught less than 50 percent of his passes during his first two seasons, although he only had one drop. Drops did affect him briefly last season as he had four in five games at one point. However, they ended up being the only four he had all season and he ended up with a respectable 64 percent catch rate.
On his highlight reels, Abram has made a couple of outstanding one handed grabs in the past and can make diving or leaping catches and hold onto the ball in traffic. On this play, he showed outstanding concentration.
Abram only had two red zone touchdowns in three years at Kent State, both from outside the 10-yard line. Here was one.
In theory, he should have size to go up over a cornerback in the red zone, but hasn’t got to show that very often at the Division 1 level.
After the catch
Once again, Abram didn’t really get to showcase his abilities after the catch until 2021, but showed some good promise in this area last season.
The Golden Flashes had some modest success running wide receiver screens to Abram on the outside.
On this play, he does well to break to the outside and uses a stiff arm to get past the defensive player.
On 57 total catches, Abram did not lose any fumbles during his three seasons with the Golden Flashes.
Since he lined up outside, Abram didn’t often make many contributions in the running game and there were times when he just did the bare minimum and even occasions where he lost focus altogether.
At other times, he made a more consistent effort blocking in the running game, down the field or on receiver screens, showing some ability and potential.
Abram was called for one holding penalty, while blocking on a receiver screen, during his time at Kent State.
Abram developed the physical side of his game over the course of his college career, but you get the impression he will still benefit significantly from being in an NFL weights program.
Here’s a good example of his effort and aggressiveness as he fights for yardage at the end of a play.
Abram barely played on special teams at Kent State, aside from a few reps on the punt unit and blocking on the kickoff return unit.
He returned kickoffs in high school and had one kickoff return for nine yards at Northwest Mississippi CC. He also had two tackles on kickoff coverage and one on a (successful) fake punt at Northwest.
Instincts and Intelligence
Abram was regarded as a smart player, who had a 4.0 GPA and won all-academic honors with Northwest.
He didn’t seem to make any obvious mental errors on the field although there was one play where he wasn’t on the same page with the quarterback, who threw behind him as he continued down the field.
Abram is regarded as a hard worker with excellent character and his coaches have praised his determination and resilience. He worked particularly hard on his strength and conditioning during his college career.
He doesn’t seem to have any red flags or off-field issues and his on-field discipline was good with just one penalty in three years at Kent State.
Injuries haven’t been an issue for Abram during his career so far, although - as noted - he did have an issue with his quad during his pro day workout.
As noted, Kent State runs a fast-paced, run-first, offense which may not have shown the full extent of Abram’s skill-set. If he’s going to have a specialist role on this team it could perhaps be as a deep threat.
Abram was a teammate of current Jets cornerback Brandin Echols while at Northwest Mississippi.
Abram was guaranteed $85K by the Jets, who only guaranteed their other two undrafted receivers $5,000 between them, so he was perhaps their priority and the player with the best chance at sticking around on the roster or practice squad from this trio. He’s also the best athlete of the three.
So far, he’s reportedly made a few plays in offseason workouts, catching a Mike White touchdown pass on day one of the recent mandatory minicamp.
As with the other two undrafted receivers, Abram is an older player which can have benefits and downsides when it comes to how easily he might be able to make the jump to the NFL level.
On the whole, the Jets have solid depth at the top end, so it will be difficult for any of the undrafted rookies to crack the rotation unless there are a bunch of injuries. However, there should be a good competition for practice squad spots and potentially the last main roster spot too. Abram will have to impress early to get into that mix.