An insider's look at defensive lineman Jihad Ward

An insider's look at defensive lineman Jihad Ward

Illini Inquirer's Jeremy Werner took some time to talk with Silver & Black Report about what the Raiders are getting with their second-round selection and defensive lineman Jihad Ward.

Werner on how Jihad Ward fits in with the Raiders defense:

Jihad is very versatile. Can play run-stuffing SDE in a 4-3, is best as a 3-4 five-technique end but also played inside on passing downs, and started the last few games at 4-3 three-technique. He fits perfectly for what you're talking about.
On Ward's numbers declining last year:
Jihad had a good year but didn't put up big sack numbers. I don't think he's a great pass rusher, more of a disruptor. He's at his best setting an edge and scraping down the line of scrimmage. He was dominant against Iowa. Watch that film.
On Ward's pros and cons on the field:
Pros: Really athletic, huge frame, hard worker, high character, takes up a lot of space and can chase down the line of scrimmage really well
Cons: Just scratching the surface, raw, only played DL for four years so far, not a great football player yet (needs technique work, more of a mean streak)
On how quickly Ward will make an impact on the field:
He has a high ceiling so in that way he's developmental but I do think he can contribute early in the rotation. Might need a year before becoming a starter but he's a quick learner.
Werner also mentioned that Ward is a good guy and also has a great article listing some of the pros and cons for Ward. You can read that here. 

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