What they’re saying: Mixed reviews for Raiders on Day 2

The national media had a higher opinion of the Raiders' third-round draft pick Shilique Calhoun than second-rounder Jihad Ward.

The national media had a higher opinion of the Raiders’ third-round draft pick Shilique Calhoun than second-rounder Jihad Ward.

The Raiders took a pair of front seven defenders on Day 2 of the draft, picking up Illinois defensive end Jihad Ward in the second round and linebacker/defensive end Shilique Calhoun in the third.

The reviews were decent, but it was third-rounder Shilique Calhoun that earned the higher marks over second-rounder Jihad Ward.

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke graded the Calhoun pick as an A, writing that he “actually might be better than their second-rounder. Calhoun, without question, is at least as ready as Jihad Ward to produce as a rookie. He is a value here, and he can be a three-down defender. Another chip for the Raiders’ emerging front seven.​”

Burke’s colleague Doug Farrar handled grading the second round and still gave solid remarks to the Ward pick, giving it a B+. Farrar wrote, “Ward was overlooked in the 2016 class during his regular season, but he really showed up at the Senior Bowl as a guy who could combine estimable speed and shocking power. He’s a bit of a project, technique-wise, but the Raiders got a good one here.​”

Pro Football Focus wasn’t so kind with the Ward pick, giving it a D+.  PFF calls him a two-down player who provides very little as a pass rusher, which isn’t what the Raiders are banking on him as. PFF felt there were “a number of better interior defensive line options on the board.”

But PFF was on board heavily with the Calhoun pick, giving Oakland another A for the Michigan State pass rusher. The site calls him, “one of our favorite pass rushers in the draft,” and says it gave him “the second-best pass rush grade in the nation last year,” although it notes he has work to do against the run.


Bleacher Report fell in the middle a little bit on the Ward pick, grading it a C. They wrote that Ward is “more of a specimen than a football player at this point, but he’s a motivated late-bloomer type with great athletic gifts.” Their beef was it was too early for that type of gamble on a raw player.

B/R’s grade for Calhoun wasn’t quite as high as the others, but they still gave it a B. They wrote: “He’s big and quick enough to fit the mold, his workout numbers are solid (and) he flashes some pass-rush technique.”

Walterfootball.com gave the Ward pick a B, saying: “Ward fills a big need on the defensive front, which lost Justin Tuck and perhaps Mario Edwards (to injury). Ward was expected to be chosen in the middle of the second round, so the range obviously makes sense.” It was the one publication that actually like the Ward pick better than Calhoun, giving the third round selection a B- while saying Calhoun doesn’t always give a full effort.

CBS Sports was another to grade the Ward pick as a B, with Pete Prisco saying, “This is a raw JUCO transfer who has pass-rushing ability. This is a guy scouts loved.” Prisco scored the Calhoun pick as a B+, writing: “The only knock on him by some scouts is that he was soft. I like the pick. I like the player.”

Averaging out all those grades, Ward gets a C+ and Calhoun averages out to a B+, so both come in at above average even if Ward is just slightly above.

Wrapping this up, here’s what ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. wrote while calling the Raiders one of his Day 2 winners:

“The Raiders have put the pieces together on the offensive side of the ball, with a very good line in front of the emerging Derek Carr, and the focus has been on defense thus far in the 2016 draft. On Friday, they added a pair of defensive lineman who were both rated higher on my board than where they landed. Jihad Ward was a first-round sleeper who they bagged at No. 44, and Shilique Calhoun is a player I, at one time, thought of as a likely first-round player, and they got him at No. 75. The defensive line now looks quite formidable. Reggie McKenzie is on a good run.”


Jimmy Durkin

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

  • Back-N-Black

    you like watching 5 year olds huh? Are you registered in your area?

  • johnny

    McGloin traded yet?

  • TrevJo

    Cheap salary cap wise. Not cheap pick wise.

  • R8der4evr

    Might be the best but I like my boy Goff

  • This is closer to what I was saying we should do at RB. Get a RB or 2 day 3 to rotate with Murray and possibly Wazzle. More proof Reggie listens to me.

  • Kylo-Kenchun24

    They can still nab Perkins or whoever in the 5th.

  • Rik-Da-Specialist-

    I like my boy Derek…

  • Teabag McKenz

    Just got off a conference call with Reg and company, Justin Fargas and Lamont Jordan are in route to the stadium for physicals and Condo will be moved to FB.

  • Gdog

    Center, DE, QB.

  • marks hair

    Between the two of them we can probably get 16 games

  • McGloin to the Cowboys for a 6th….yes? no?

  • Ervin and Ferguson are dynamic playmakers that can also be our return men. I’d like one of them too.

  • EastBay Fan

    Are we that good to be drafting backups and rotational positions with picks 2-4?

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Lmao. Funniest thing I’ve ever seen you post.


    Todays pick was truly a stunner. Dont know what to say about this 1

  • NYCRaider

    Yep and Ron Bartels press cnference at 5pm today

  • Ghost of Jeff Hostetler

    McGloin and our TE for a 6th

  • 1972

    Bring back Wheatly!

  • marks hair

    Pretty cheap.

  • 1960AutumnWind
  • TrevJo

    Cook doesn’t have a great reputation as an athlete but his measurables aren’t much different than Carr. 40: Carr 4.69, Cook 4.79, Vert: Carr 34.5, Cook 33, Broad: Carr 110, Cook 113, Height: Carr 6’2″, Cook 6’4″, Hands: Carr 9 1/8″, Cook 9 3/4″. Biggest knock on Cook as an athlete is his weight.

  • Teabag McKenz


  • Oak R8rs33.01


  • Skewlboy

    For their 5, 6th, 7th

  • Oh Dick Vitel. His schtick isn’t old at all….

  • Gdog

    This is what Reggie has been waiting for apparently. Win the SB and then pick backups.

    Just like GB!

    (He kinda forgot about the SB part is all.)

  • 1972

    That cheerleader on the right was hot

  • That’s what I get for having the draft on an unopened tab.

  • marks hair

    How many starting positions are available?

  • Ghost of Jeff Hostetler

    I cant believe we gave away a 5th

  • Heck Legler

    Jags maybe having a historic draft. Jack will be the clincher if healthy.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    We traded one and our 4thto move upmnto get Cook

  • Gdog

    This is a PERFECT fit for Musgraves offense… cmon guys!

    “Weaknesses Habit of throwing short passes with too much pepper. Accuracy is a major concern. “

  • EastBay Fan

    Arguably- RB, slot WR, MLB, RT

  • Take a couple deep breaths and reread that comment.

  • Gdog

    That was what I was going to type.

  • I tend to use a lot of pepper.

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    I’m not even sure this is the right QB if you’re gonna go QB. Hogan might be better.

  • Skewlboy

    Sounds like Colin Kaepernick

  • Breaking_Black


  • EastBay Fan

    Consistent winner and tough. Scouts say his teammates and coaches see through deficiencies and trust the competitiveness above all else. Has NFL size. Benefited from playing in a pro­-style attack. Has adequate mobility and is unafraid to pull the ball down and get tough yards to extend drives. Extremely bright person. Doesn’t always look pretty, but finds ways to make winning plays in adverse situations. Doesn’t get cute and feeds his top talent. Tasked to manage the offense and did just that. Smart and self­-aware. Understands his strengths and weaknesses and doesn’t take very many low percentage chances. Was the most accurate short-yardage passer in Pac-12 at 76.7 percent.

    This is not Cook’s bio but Hogans, who could’ve been taken 1-2 rounds later

  • SB3

    Hopefully we NEVER have to see these dudes in a game unless we are up by 40 pts.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Tell me where that comparison falls down. You Reggie fans are gullible as h%ll. We have been 18-46 and we are supposed to give benefit of doubt.

  • marks hair

    All of the offensive positions you listed are already taken.
    And I think Reggie like the players he drafted more than any of the middle linebackers available at the time.
    Plus we have Bell, Heeney and Smith

  • We would have had a perfect name for his inevitable fanclub. Hogan’s Heroes (c)

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Oh please…. Roo-Roo

  • Rik-Da-Specialist-

    Brady didn’t look a prototype player either remember those draft photos lol

  • Rik-Da-Specialist-


  • Reggie is in LA LA land! We need a running back, if he does not have a trade up his sleeve he is looking pretty stupid at this point. No A+ picks at all, although we were 14 and 15th each day. A Drunk Fan could have listened, or Read enough to take the best player available. Picking Conner was a political move and not for the future of the team. His Accuracy is not that good.

  • txraider

    Wasn’t expecting it, but Ok for 4th rnd.

    Think about it this way – McGloin is a good backup. But if Carr gets hurt, he is currently all we have.

    Speaks to depth (finally) that we can pick a 3rd string QB to battle the 2nd in the fourth round of the draft.