Home > News > Sports > NFL > 2016 NFL Draft: Jihad Ward selected 44th overall by Oakland Raiders

2016 NFL Draft: Jihad Ward selected 44th overall by Oakland Raiders

Jihad Ward - DL, IllinoisPick Analysis


Jihad Ward – DL, Illinois

Pick Analysis

There’s no doubting the upside, mostly based around his size, but Ward’s play on the field, neve matched the traits he has. Why not? He was far too ineffective over the course of 2015. Yet he instantly stood out at the Senior Bowl. That creates a question of his motivation, he upped his game when he knew scouts were watching. He’s got ability and is built for the pros, but this feels high for someone who looked passive and ineffecive for too much of the past season. He is a good fit in the Raiders defense though in fairness. Rebecca Rennie

Player Analysis

The former junior college transfer flashed a lot of potential during his first season at the top level of college football in 2014, but didn’t really build on that as a senior which included just 3.5 TFLs and 1.5 sacks.  He’s not a perfect fit at either defensive tackle, or on the edge where he lacks speed and explosion.  Despite a down year playing for the Illini, he was one of the real stand outs during the Senior Bowl, looking much more dynamic and effective during practice drills that saw him impress over some bigger names in what was the strongest position groups in attendance.   It’s just not reflected in his film, so how soon he is picked will be as much based on upside than anything else.  He certainly has next-level size and length, and having played inside and outside, from both the left and right sides, there’s versatility across the line on offer as well. (Rebecca Rennie)

Grade C+


2016 NFL Draft: Jihad Ward selected 44th overall by Oakland Raiders

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