Shawn Oakman Announces Return to Baylor: Latest Details and Reaction

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2014

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Shawn Oakman was considered by some a potential top-five pick in the 2015 NFL draft.  

The Baylor defensive end will instead stay in school for one more season. Oakman announced on Monday that he'll return to Waco for his senior year, per Brian Kaufman of KWTX News 10:

Oakman is one of those players who likely divides opinion among NFL scouts and draft experts. The two extremes aren't all that far apart. At one end of the spectrum are those making the case that he was top-five caliber, while others peg him more for the second round.

In October, Bleacher Report's NFL draft expert Matt Miller argued that at his peak, Oakman could be a dominant NFL defensive lineman.

Some might wonder how a player like this could possibly forgo potential millions of dollars.

There are some players whom you watch and know that they can't possibly gain anything toward their draft stock by staying in school. Oakman isn't one of those players. He has some major question marks that he could answer in his senior season, thus locking down a first-round grade.

One of the biggest issues with Oakman is his size. ESPN.com's Max Olson snapped a photo of Oakman on the sideline before a game, and the defensive end is imposing, to say the least:

Being 6'9" and 280 pounds can be both a blessing and a curse. That size allows Oakman to play a variety of roles on the defensive line and can make him unstoppable at times. The converse is that his center of gravity is so high that he can lose leverage when engaged with a blocker.

That will never not be a problem at times for Oakman, but he could learn how to mitigate it with one more year in college.

The other major knock on Oakman is that he can be invisible for large swathes of a game, which is not what you want to see from a top-five draft pick.

In the above video, Miller made the comparison to Ra'Shede Hageman, of whom most agreed that he had tremendous talent but a questionable motor. Hageman went with the 37th overall draft pick.

Oakman would look great at the scouting combine, but as teams watched and analyzed more of his game tape, they might have soured on him more and more.

Spending a final season at Baylor could help Oakman iron out those consistency issues.

It's always a gamble to put the draft off for another season, but you can see why Oakman would think it's worth it.

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