2016 NFL Draft: Does Shawn Oakman make sense for Jets?
In the 2016 NFL Draft, should the NY Jets consider drafting defensive lineman Shawn Oakman? Read the case as to why it might not be such a bad idea.
Upon initial reaction, the casual Jets fan may think, why even do a draft profile on a defensive lineman and that’s where I’d stop you. The new regime that the Jets have in place have ousted that short-sighted approach of the past.
We saw a glimpse of that, up close and personal when the Jets utilized their sixth overall pick on the defensive line with the selection of Leonard Williams out of USC. But if you look deeper at the impending situation regarding the unrest of the defensive line, you’ll learn very quickly the Jets can’t rely on anything.
A quick update: Sheldon Richardson just pleaded guilty to charges and is on two years probation and is currently at the mercy of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Muhammad Wilkerson is a frustrated veteran who is currently without a contract and has a broken leg as his future is up in the air. While finally Damon Harrison is also an impending free agent and with his play over the last several years, he is going to warrant a sizable contract.
So with all that being said, who knows who will be lining up with Williams along the Jets’ defensive line. That is why general manager Mike Maccagnan and his scouting department should do their respective homework on this potential Jet, Shawn Oakman.
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There is no denying his physical gifts: At 6-foot-7, 269 pounds, his size and strength are freakish qualities that will drive his draft stock in the right direction on paper. But it’s all the other stuff that will drive his draft grade into the dirt.
- He was dismissed from Penn State for disciplinary reasons and landed at Baylor.
- Oakman’s tape is limited and he’s relatively inexperienced coming out as a senior.
- What do you do with a player who passes the eye test but consistently under-performs despite rare ability? Oakman’s production declined from 11 sacks as a junior to 4.5 as a senior. In his final game, Baylor’s bowl win over North Carolina, Oakman didn’t make a single tackle.
Oct 3, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Baylor Bears defensive end Shawn Oakman (2) during the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at AT&T Stadium. The Bears defeat the Red Raiders 63-35. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Perhaps the last thing the Jets need is a potential basket case to deal with, but if anyone can handle it and turn it into a positive, that guy is head coach Todd Bowles. I’ve flirted with the possibility of shifting Oakman to a hybrid outside linebacker spot, but upon further review would feel more comfortable transitioning him to a similar hands in the dirt pass rushing role.
There is no better eye than that of a scout, so Dane Brugler draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com and CBS Sports shared his initial thoughts on Oakman so far during the Senior Bowl:
“If there was a football beauty pageant, he would win, but, of course, that’s not how the game is played. He looks the part, definitely passes the eye test, but when the whistle blows he doesn’t play up to his measurables. He doesn’t consistently play as well as you would expect for a player that physically impressive. He needs to work on his technique, he needs to figure out how to best use his strengths.
“I think someone is going to take a chance on him in the third-round range and see if they can develop him into either a sub-package player, maybe a starter, but it’s safe to say he doesn’t play as well as you’d expect when you just see him on the sidelines.”
With his skill-set, I definitely see Oakman running through the NFL Scouting Combine and wowing coaches, scouts and analysts in shorts with his amazing abilities. I think he will improve his stock to becoming a fringe first-round pick, remember all it takes is one team to fall in love.
More jets: Jets must address offensive line issues
If you want to learn more about the incident that resulted in Oakman getting expelled from Penn State you can find it here Life After Penn State For Shawn Oakman. Aside from that, don’t be surprised if the Jets think he could be a hidden gem in this year’s draft.