The Oakland Raiders selected defensive lineman Jihad Ward with the 44th overall pick

The Oakland Raiders selected defensive lineman Jihad Ward with the 44th overall pick

After filling a hole by selecting safety Karl Joseph with the 14th overall selection Thursday, general manager Reggie McKenzie stuck with the defensive side of the football by selecting University of Illinois defensive lineman Jihad Ward. 

http://www.scout.com/college/illinois/player/182186-jihad-ward

Ward is another versatile lineman that has the ability to play both defensive end positions, but can also bump inside to the tackle position as well - similar to the role veteran Justin Tuck played before he decided to retire after last season.

Standing at 6-foot-5, 297 pounds, Ward still has room on his frame to fill out with more muscle. He's a sure tackler that likes to hit hard and keeps his pad level low. 

It may take some time for Ward to develop, but he has the potential to become a solid piece of the Raiders defensive rotation. 

It remains to be seen how the Raiders plan on using him, but Ward could give Jack Del Rio and Ken Norton Jr. need up the middle to compliment run stuffing Justin Ellis and Dan Williams.

ESPN's Adam Caplan is reporting the team plans to use him as a defensive end in base defense, and kick him inside in sub packages.

https://twitter.com/caplannfl/status/726202644516200448


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