Shawn Oakman, Defensive End / Tackle, Baylor University
Sep 26, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; Baylor Bears defensive end Shawn Oakman (2) during the game against the Rice Owls at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Shawn Oakman got widely famous when a “meme” of him with his Jersey tucked under his shoulder pads, showing off his muscular “six-pack” abs, went viral on the Internet.
Oakman is a monster of a human being — standing at 6’9 and weighing 280 pounds. He has tremendous length, and is very athletic for his size. If the draft was based on physical attributes alone; Oakman would be the 1st overall pick, no question about it.
Thing is, there’s more to playing in the NFL than just being a huge person.
Oakman is a very very raw prospect. He doesn’t have great balance and he’s often caught out of position. When it all comes down to it, NFL teams will be drafting him because of his physical features and his super-high “upside” he has.
The reason I don’t think the Saints should draft Oakman is simply due to the fact that they aren’t able to develop players on the defensive side of the ball. Oakman needs a better coach than Bill Johnson to help him succeed in the NFL.
To put it into perspective, the last developmental player the Saints took early in the draft was Stanley Jean-Baptiste. He had great size for a corner, and the Saints drafted him in the second round to develop him.
Red flags started to come up when the Saints were hit with injuries at corner and Jean-Baptiste still could not get on the field. He was cut the next year during preseason, and is now on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.
The Saints need to draft players on defense who don’t need much help refining their game. They need players who are fundamentally good football players — and Oakman isn’t under that category.
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