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Raiders: Getting to know DE Jihad Ward

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ward_jihad_3The Raiders selected Jihad Ward with the No. 44 overall pick of Friday’s NFL Draft. Here’s what you need to know about him.

College: Illinois

Position: Defensive end

Ht/Wt: 6-foot-6/295 pounds

College highlights: Two-time All-Big Ten honorable mention selection had 4.5 career sacks and 12 tackles for loss.

Pros: Raw prospect who has high upside thanks to his length and quickness. Good effort player who should be able to be part of the defensive line rotation.

Cons: Not much experience and hasn’t shown the nastiest needed to be a dominant lineman.

Odds and ends: Mother, Kareema, named him Jihad after a childhood classmate. She didn’t convert to Islam until well after he was born though. … Ward wore No. 17 in college because that was his mother’s age when he was born.

Quotable: “Everybody knows that I didn’t have good numbers last season. But it’s all about getting better at it. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes.” — Ward on his 1.5 sack, 3.5 TFL senior season.

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • R8der4evr

    Totally different
    Ward looks like a big mean lean dude

  • Raider O

    And Kind for field position.
    We are done. SB contenders baby

  • EDWARD TEACH

    Different players altogether. Calhoun is a DE/rush linebacker and will be used in much the same way as Mack is. Ward is a 4-3 DE and 5 tech in a 3-4.

  • Rico Stifler

    Didn’t you say that about Edwards too?

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    If not a bruiser who can get a couple of yds on third and short, how about a short, speedy squirt who can turn the corner?

  • idahoraiderfan33

    New Post

  • or just trade back up into the 3rd and select that RB now so we can sleep easy

  • Christian W

    I don’t think so

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Derek, you’re on your own. Work it out.

  • Raiderkoolaid

    I guess aside from signing Osemele we are going to just stand pat on offense.

  • Rico Stifler

    I think they’ll use Ward like Edwards or he will play a lot of DT.

  • Christian W

    I’m hoping for wr Pharaoh Cooper!!

  • Raider O

    As far as production but Edwards was a 5 star recruit out of HS.

  • R8der4evr

    Nah
    Lawler
    Lawler
    Lawler
    Ervin
    Ervin
    Ervin
    Reggie
    Reggie
    Reggie

  • eastoaklandraider

    That’s what I’m looking for Murray is already are big back

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    We will get a RB and WR somewhere. Maybe a project tackle.

  • Rico Stifler

    We already drafted 2 DL. Billings would just be a bench player unless he beats someone out. We have other needs to address than to add DL depth.

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    Agreed, and I’d say in that order, all other things being equal.

  • Raiderkoolaid

    I hope they don’t expect him to turn things around immediately. I is going to take awhile to assemble enough talent.

  • EDWARD TEACH

    DT on passing downs also I’d guess but I think he’s primarily a defensive end in both 4-3 and 3-4 alignments.

  • Rico Stifler

    Pretty Sure you did. 99% of the blog hated the Edwards pick. I was part of the 1%

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Colts finally deciding to protect Luck. Only took them 4 years. Morons.

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    That may be, but I’ll say this, the upside is worth a couple years in case. Personally I think he is going to be worth the pick.

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    I’d be jacked if Howard makes it back around to us.

  • So do we hate the 3rd pick too?

  • DKnight007

    Kelly didn’t have as much work ethic and character like this kid Ward tho. Ward can be something special

  • Alex

    Negative.

  • Alex

    I guess it depends whether I log in to disqus via email or username…normal handle is Raider4Life209…but I read more than comment, so its no biggie really.

  • Alex

    That’s a negative.