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Raiders 2nd round pick Jihad Ward signs rookie contract

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Oakland Raiders

Another of the Raiders draft picks is officially under contract now as the team announced 2nd round pick (44th overall) Jihad Ward has signed his rookie deal. His signing brings the count of unsigned draft picks to two. Just third round pick Shilique Calhoun and sixth rounder Cory James.

Ward was selected 44th overall by the Raiders in last month's draft. He played two seasons at Illinois after transferring from Globe Institute of Technology in New York, N.Y. At Illinois, he started all 25 games, totaling 104 tackles, 4.5 sacks, three passes defensed, three forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He posted 81 tackles and 10 sacks at Globe Tech.

As a senior, the 6-foot-6, 295-pounder started all 12 games on the defensive line, playing both defensive end and defensive tackle. He tallied 53 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, earning All-Big Ten Honorable Mention by conference coaches and media. In 2014, Ward ranked second in FBS and led the Big Ten with four fumbles recovered and was named an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honoree.