Born: Dec 12th, 1997 (21 years old)
Weight: 291 Lbs
Position: Defensive Tackle
This time last year, Ed Oliver was the hottest name in football. One of the most prolific recruits in high school football history wound up having a modest NCAA career for himself. It took him three days to gain the starting role for the Cougars, and in his freshman season produced 65 total tackles, 5 sacks, and an outlandish 22 tackles for a loss along with 6 pass deflections. Ed was the biggest recruit the University of Houston has ever landed, and he proved that by winning the 2016 Bill Willis Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top defensive lineman. He became the first freshman ever to be awarded the trophy. In Oliver’s sophomore season, he followed up with 73 total tackles, 16.5 for a loss, and 5.5 sacks, and the Outland Trophy for the nations top interior defensive lineman for 2017. Though he missed a quarter of his 2018 season, he still managed to get 54 total tackles, 14.5 for a loss, and 3.0 sacks and wound up skipping Houston’s bowl game. Whatever franchise drafts this young man will not just be getting a gritty, Texas breed interior lineman, they will be getting a playmaker that will have offensive linemen asking themselves, “why are my feet so hot?”
Strengths & Weaknesses
Great combination of power, speed and leverage. Oliver is able to keep his pads low, and work the leverage game against his defenders. Constantly destroys plays by breaking through double teams. Oliver finished his career with 53 tackles for a loss, and averaged nearly 2 a game. He has mastered the bull rush and has violent hands off the ball.
He has shown a flare of being undisciplined and possibly a diva side to him. People questioned him for the amount he sat out during last season due to injury, and also had a shouting match with former Houston head coach, Major Applewhite, on the sideline of a game.
NFL Draft Projection/NFL Comp
NFL Draft Projection
If Ed was able to declare last year, he could have been the 1st overall pick in the draft, but now with the depth of the 2019 class, he has lost some traction. I still don’t see him falling outside the Top 10, and I personally love his fit with the Buffalo Bills at the 9th Pick. The Bills have a solid secondary that would benefit greatly from added pressure by the defensive line. Now that Kyle Williams is retired, the Bills have a hole at defensive tackle that now is a major need.
I see a lot of Ndamukong Suh whenever I watch Ed Oliver. He is a do it all defensive tackle with a high motor and a mean first punch off the ball. Oliver didn’t statistically leap off the screen at you, but whenever you watch him play, he isn’t hard to find. Both athletes play with a nasty attitude and provide a scary pass rush in between the tackles.