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2016 NFL Draft Round 2: At Pick 44, Oakland Raiders select Illinois Defensive End Jihad Ward

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The Raiders have decided to use their 2nd round pick on DE Jihad Ward

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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