Dec 5, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns offensive lineman Connor Williams (55) blocks Baylor Bears defensive end Shawn Oakman (2) during the second half at McLane Stadium. The Longhorns defeat the Bears 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Every team is looking for the next great pass rusher and it often comes in the shape and form of great athletes with unique abilities. Shawn Oakman looks like another one of those types from the outside. Does his 2016 NFL draft scouting report agree?
Weight: 280 lbs
A native of Philadelphia, Oakman was a football and basketball standout at Penn Wood High School, a place that has produced some great athletes in the past. He committed to Penn State in 2010 but was released two years later for violating team rules. Transferring to Baylor, he worked his way up the depth chart to become a starter in 2014 and collected 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss.
Things haven’t gone as well his senior year. He has 14.5 TFLs but just 4.5 sacks. That is not going to look good when the main draft push begins.
- A freakish physical specimen. Not only incredible length but a chiseled physique that speaks to his fitness regimen. Remarkable athlete for his size.
Here you see what coaches and scouts will fall in love with during the predraft process. A man that size should not be able to move that quick, that fast and that smoothly around the edge. Even though he’s not blocked, he has enough speed to where he’s into the backfield before the running back can even get a hand on him and Oakman blindsides the quarterback. There is little doubt he’ll test well in drills.
- Tremendous power to drive blocker backs, especially when he keeps his pad level low. When combined with his long arms, it’s difficult to stop him.
- Can be explosive off the snap, making him a threat to get around the edge with speed. Has versatile skill set to play 3-4 outside linebacker if asked.
- Does a consistently good job of getting his arms extended, allowing him to keep blockers off his body and then sheds them to go after the football.
- An effective inside move allows him to knife into the backfield that can have damaging effects on play timing for offenses.
- Seems to lack vision and awareness to find the football. Often caught out of positions on runs and pass going in his direction.
- Shows limited balance and coordination for such a good athlete. Often finds himself knocked off his feet too easily.
- Doesn’t always rev the motor hot. Legs are constantly churning, allowing blockers to hold him up.
Going against another prominent draft prospect in left tackle Jack Conklin, Oakman does a good job extending his arms but watch his legs. After an initial burst, they stop going. This allows Conklin to hold his ground, giving his quarterback extra time to deliver what should’ve been an easy touchdown pass. They talk a lot about motors in pass rushers, and Oakman’s wasn’t going there.
Pro Comparison: Dion Jordan
Physically, Oakman is just so much fun to look at. Most men wish they were that big and that intimidating. However, like the former 3rd overall pick Dion Jordan, it might be a mirage. Jordan really didn’t have great sack production at Oregon and neither does Oakman. Most of them have come from his natural athletic gifts, not because he’s an aggressive, relentless and disciplined pass rusher.
Projection: 2nd to 4th rounds
It only takes one team to believe enough in his physical upside for Oakman to go early in the 2016 NFL draft. However, his lack of aggressiveness and motor is a point of contention. Too many times teams have been burned looking for the freak athletes only to realize those athletes don’t have the fire it takes to hunt quarterbacks. That is why he’s a perfect Day 2 pick.