Cincinnati Bengals Draft Spotlight: Shawn Oakman

jimmymalchow
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Shawn Oakman

The Bengals have a deep roster going from top to bottom.  With the few present needs of wide receiver and center, they will have the ability to draft best player available.  In some cases with a roster this deep, teams have the ability to draft someone and develop them behind you starters.

At 6’8″ 287 lbs and very athletic, Shawn Oakman is not your normal defensive End.  Shawn Oakman, defensive end at Baylor, second team all conference in the Big 12 with 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks is a monster.  In 2014 he had turned in a better year with 19.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.

Background

Oakman went to high school at Penn Wood in Pennsylvania, where he starred as a two sport athlete in football and basketball.  Oakman didn’t have any easy come up at a young age, his father not around and his mother an addict who also time in prison.  Oakman started his collegiate career at Penn State, but ending quickly with off field issues and poor academics.  Oakman transferred to Baylor, sitting out in 2012 and playing a small role in 2013.

How He Fits

Shawn Oakman would be considered a high risk high reward pick, as this kid is far from polished.  The Bengals would be a great for Oakman, being able to learn from some of the best in

Michael Johnson

and

Carlos Dunlap

.  If he could sit a year and work and learn with the Bengals, he could be a sleeper that could be a huge asset to this defense.  Oakman would fit well in the Bengals 4-3 defense as a rusher who can set the edge well, letting the linebackers clean up inside.

Strengths

With the eye test, you would think you have seen a recreation of Hulk.  He has a very powerful bullrush with the mix of his long arms and explosive hips.  Oakman is very flexible and balanced on his feet for his size.  Has the ability to get to the quarterback or drop back and play coverage.  Oakman is still very raw with all the tangibles and given sometime to develop a skill set could be very dangerous.

Weaknesses

Oakman needs to work on getting leverage, needs to get pad levels lower when taking on a run block.  Tries to use his upper body power to much, rather than exploding from the bottom up.  Needs to develop more pass rush moves, besides just bull rushing his man.

The Bottom Line

Big bodied athletes are valuable in the NFL when they can develop the skills needed to be effective.  Scouts all over salivate at the physical tangibles that Oakman possesses and how good of a player he could become.  The Bengals have a solid team that would give Oakman a chance to grow and put it all the skills.  If Oakman is available in the 3rd or 4th round, the Bengals could end up with solid player.

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