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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.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Or adding a bunch of Benson Mayowa’s, guys that look great in spurts but aren’t durable or make a lasting, steady impact.

  • marks hair

    Yup

  • Floyd is a bust

  • aig-raiders

    He looks legit.

  • Yeah except its

    1- Jospeh

    2- Jihad

    3- Calhoun

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Don’t be such a bummer dude..

  • RaiderNik

    We will have the best pass rush in the league with this draft!

  • LOL typing too fast

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    I see what you did there. Many had Jihad top half of second tho, as funny as that is.

  • Kylo-Kenchun24

    Yup me too.

  • Guest123

    #Raiders hoping Calhoun can be sub pass rusher in rookie season. Figures to play RDE based on upside as pass rusher.

    Adam Caplan twitter

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Agreed!!

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    not the first time for that, is it

  • DevilR8er

    Need 2 to 3 starters in this draft

  • eastoaklandraider

    Good pic Great Value to get Calhoun in the third

  • Rico Stifler

    My phone’s autocorrect screws me. Frequently.

  • Raider O

    Trying to make people feel better lol

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    I’m hopeful, but the only one I see as an impact guy is Joseph, which, I suppose, is what one would expect, that you’d get an impact guy in the first, not elsewhere.

    Football, esp. the D, has become so specialized that most of the guys taken out of the top 20 are guys inserted in packages and specific situations.

  • yep! LOL

    This board is moving so fast

  • Guest123

    BREAKING: Lakers reach agreement with Golden State assistant Luke Walton as their head coach

  • easyant13

    If we had taken henry not ward I’d be doing cartwheels

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    I feel fine. I’m all in w all 3 picks so far. No issues.

  • Rico Stifler

    Kiper had Ward ranked 41

  • eastoaklandraider

    We have really loaded up on defense you better be ready to come in and compete hard for your spot great job Reggie

  • Christian W

    Can we plz get Billings!!

  • RaidO

    Calhoun better than Ward? Sure seems like it

  • idahoraiderfan33

    I trust Reggie, so those are the right impact picks..

  • BABY AL

    And all the air just left the blog…

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    We have 1.5 so far. Joseph likely starts later in the year as soon as he’s healed up.

  • RaidO

    Luuuuuuuuuuke!!!

  • eastoaklandraider

    Breaking News: He’s not bringing Stephan Curry and Klay Thompson with him

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Different guys. Ward drafted as super high ceiling project. Calhoun has better numbers for a better team.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    I don’t like that at all but hey, it was expected. I like Luke but can’t root for his success now.

  • Raider O

    I like the 1st and 3rd a lot. jihad wasn’t on my radar, looks good, but taking a wait and see approach.

  • Raider O

    We don’t need him. We have Williams and Ellis

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I’d like to score some points.

  • wat tha.

  • Rico Stifler

    Drafting Billings now wouldn’t make sense

  • 2romes

    He appears to be very smart about the way he holds and Attacks the edge. I need to see a bit more to know about his overall skills.

  • Christian W

    Ward just going be one those players that going to have trouble adjusting to the NFL I can see it now

  • Raider O

    F that. With out defense all we need is FGs

  • He will put a Jihad on you!

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Same here. Never really heard of him. But after I scrambled to figure it out, I like the pick. Very Edwardsy

  • eastoaklandraider

    I’m hoping for a running back in the 4th

  • R8der4evr

    Lol
    Ok Vince L

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    And we got Condo and Jano!

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    Yeah, as of now, no question. Who knows in 2 years. Plus I’d guess Ward is a rotation guy where as Calhoun is passing downs.

  • Another player the bills sign off our practice squad. wasted 2nd.

  • Me too

  • Christian W

    You can never have too many defensive players!!