The Raiders have selected Illinois defensive end Jihad Ward,a raw prospect with a lot of upside. He is a hard worker from Philadelphia who started out as a Junior College receiver and safety before becoming the defensive linemen that he is today.
The Raiders hope to have Mario Edwards, Jr as one of their defensive ends but he had a scary neck injury that they are still evaluating. They needed another player on the opposite side anyway for when Khalil Mack is playing outside linebacker but if Edwards, Jr.'s injury is more serious then it would have drastically affected the Raiders depth along the defensive line.
Jihad Ward is 6'5, 297lbs so he should also have the ability to slide inside at defensive tackle as well. He is already a high motor type of player who can play either end position but he has a lot of room to grow both physically and as a player. He has an extremely high ceiling considering he is still learning how to play along the defensive line.
This is more of a developmental pick from Reggie McKenzie considering Ward's lack of experience but he has the athleticism needed to play in a hybrid system like the Raiders use. His scheme versatility was surely a draw to him, especially if he does prove to be able to play inside consistently in the NFL.
Raiders Draft Picks:
Round 1, Pick 14: Karl Joseph, S, WVU
Round 2, Pick 44: Jihad Ward, DE, Illinois
SB Nation Big Board by Dan Kadar Best Available:
13. Mackensie Alexander, 5 '11, 195 pounds, CB, Clemson
12. A'Shawn Robinson, 6’4, 312 pounds, DT, Alabama
17. Jarran Reed, 6’4, 313 pounds, DT, Alabama
28. Michael Thomas, 6’3, 210 pounds, WR, Ohio State
33. Vonn Bell, 5’11, 205 pounds, S, Ohio State
34. Cody Whitehair, 6’4, 305 pounds, G, Kansas State
36. Kendall Fuller, 6’0, 196 pounds, CB, Virginia Tech
37. Derrick Henry, 6’3, 242 pounds, RB, Alabama
39. Jason Spriggs, 6’7, 305 pounds, OT, Indiana
41. Joshua Perry, 6’4, 254 pounds, OLB, Ohio State
Levi Damien's Raiders Draft Radar, Best Available on day 2
Raider Draft Radar: All positions by round
Top 300 players big board by Dan Kadar
NFL Draft positional rankings by Dan Kadar
SB Nation NFL bloggers mock draft