2016 NFL Draft Rankings: 3-4 Defensive End

Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 4
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

11.) Shawn Oakman, Baylor (6’8 | 269 | 4.88) – An absolute physical freak who had somewhat of a down season in 2015, but was dominant the season before (11 sacks, 19.5 TFLs) and has the frame, athleticism, and strength to be as good as he wants to be at the next level. If you were building a 5-tech DE from scratch, Oakman would be better than what you came up with. He’s basically a create-a-player and if his technique and drive ever catch up with his natural ability, Oakman could be unstoppable.

Bears angle: Too risky for round 2, but too much potential to pass up in round 3

12.) Jihad Ward, Illinois (6’5 | 296 | 4.98) – Played inside at Illinois, but moved outside at the Senior Bowl and impressed scouts all week with a surprisingly quick first step for his size, long arms to keep blockers at bay, and the closing speed to track down QBs. Ward has the size, power, and quickness to be an above average 5-tech in the NFL, but needs to clean up his technique and learn the nuances of a new position. It might take a season of development before Ward makes an impact, but the potential is there.

Bears angle: High upside round 3 pick

13.) Chris Jones, Mississippi St (6’5 | 308 | 5.12) – Played mostly inside in college, but has ideal size, quickness, and strength to play the 5-tech position. His production didn’t always match his potential in college though. Jones occasionally flashed the ability to keep blockers off him with his long arms, the burst off the ball to win the edge, and the agility to change direction without losing momentum. Those traits made Jones look like a first round pick at times, but too often his technique got sloppy, he came off the ball too high, and looked like he wasn’t giving his best effort out there. Jones could have used another year in college, but has serious potential if he ends up with the right coaching staff.

Bears angle: High upside round 3 pick

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

14.) Matt Ioannidis, Temple (6’4 | 303) – Played outside on early downs and then moved to nose tackle on passing downs for Temple. Ioannidis has a quick first step, good motor, and uses his hands well to disengage from blockers. He was considered a day 3 pick before the Senior Bowl but really raised his draft stock by showing the ability to generate pass rush inside, take on double teams without giving up ground, and a non-stop motor. Ioannidis was one of the lesser regarded d-linemen in Mobile but was just as effective as guys rated a few rounds higher on most draft boards.

Bears angle: Could contribute in d-line rotation as a rookie, good value in 3rd-4th round

15.) Charles Tapper, Oklahoma (6’3 | 276 | 4.87) – Has been primarily a run stopper in his two years as a starter for the Sooners. Tapper uses his size and long arms to keep blockers at bay and disengage to stop running backs. His main responsibility was setting the edge and stopping the run, which he excelled at, but Tapper flashed some pass rush skills as well during his senior season with seven sacks. With two years as a 5-tech at Oklahoma Tapper’s game is polished enough that he could contribute right away.

Bears angle: Upgrade over Bears current DEs with a mid-round pick