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