Shawn Oakman   DE   Baylor

Shawn has size, quickness and strength to be a dominating defensive player for the team that selects him. He has all the physical quick-twitch reactions and burst off the line that could make him one of the best defensive players ever to play in the NFL. There is no doubt about Shawn’s physical attributes and there is no doubt that he could have an impact at the next level the day after you select him. He has those long arms that make it impossible to throw over him and those long legs that make it impossible to pass block him off the line of scrimmage. Shawn (if he wants to) could change the record books for sacks in the NFL. He is stout against the run and as far as being a good teammate, well, all I can say is that from the way he played this year, that, along with a host of other issues is debatable.

You can say he plays too high and he is too tall, but the real issue is this: Does he have Jadeveon Clowney syndrome? What is that syndrome you ask? It is the syndrome that is attached to an attitude that he plays when he wants to play and his body is his temple so ANY injury or body part that hurts will affect whether or not he WANTS to play. That is, of course, until the last year of his contract which is when he will play lights out. I question Shawn’s passion to be the best he can be. Any other issues he can overcome if he has the passion to be the best.

This is the type of player a GM and Head Coach should bring to the owner of the team for a decision and not put their jobs on the line for. They need to show the owner all the film and give him all the information and let the decision be up to him. The discussion should start something like the following, “We think he is a top ten talent with a boom or bust flag because of his obvious lack of passion to be the player his talents suggest that he can be.” Owners with a gambling attidude will most likely say let’s take him late in the 1st if he is there. Another owner will tell you to take him off the board and don’t pick him at all. An owner like me says, ok, let’s decide what round to select this kid. This owner knows that a player like Shawn playing with a chip on his shoulder because he is not selected when he thinks he should be, could be a good thing for at least his first contract. This owner knows that if Shawn plays and impacts for his first contract he would anticipate that it will be a problem signing him for his next contract. This owner knows that if he can make this kid feel like he has a home, maturity could make Shawn into something special, so let’s figure out the risk/reward ratio (or what round selecting him in if he fails) hurts the team the least. That’s what I call a calculated business decision and if it doesn’t work out, that’s just the way business goes sometimes. For me personally, after a quick interview with him, I think late in the 2nd round or 3rd round or with a compensatory pick is about right because truthfully, there is no interview that would excuse the lack of effort and production that Shawn had this season. Of course that would depend on if there is no other player on my board with a higher rating and that doesn’t seem likely to me.

Drew Boylhart  FEB.2016