The Triangle Torch of the American Arena League have signed former Baylor defensive end, Shawn Oakman.
Oakman, at 6'9, 287lbs played college football at the University of Baylor. He had originally signed to Penn State, but he was dismissed for violation of team rules. When he transferred to Baylor in 2012, he was off the entire season.
In 2013, he played in thirteen games as a back up defensive end, where he recorded 33 tackles and 2 sacks. Then, in 2014, Oakman had a break out season. He finished the season with 19.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.
He earned third team All-America honors from the Associated Press, and was a consensus All-Big 12 selection. He was projected by most scouts to be a first rounder in the 2015 NFL Draft, but he returned to Baylor for his senior season, where he only recorded 4.5 sacks in 2015.
Several early mock drafts predicted Oakman to be a first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. In 2015, his draft stock fell. Scouts were concerned about Oakman's skinny lower body, lack of pass-rush technique, his inconsistency, and ability to play tougher competition. After Oakman's arrest on a sexual assault charge, which occured two weeks before the 2016 NFL Draft, he was wiped from many teams draft boards, and was called "undraftable" by an NFC executive. He went undrafted, and was not signed as an undrafted free agent.
The Torch’s signing of Oakman is huge for their defense. In his career, he has 128 tackles, 46.5 for loss, 8 forced fumbles, and 17.5 sacks. Against this kind of level of skill, Oakman should have a huge season. The Torch will be facing teams like the Carolina Energy, Georgia Doom, Vermont Bucks, Austin Wild, and Cape Fear Heroes where he should put up at least two sacks in each of those games.