Ed Oliver – University of Houston, Defensive Tackle
6’2″ 287 lbs
High School: Westfield High School, Houston, TX
2018 Stats – 54 tackles (29 solo), 14.5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, 2 passes deflected, 1 forced fumble [8 games played]
2017 Stats – 73 tackles (47 solo), 16.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, 3 passes deflected, 1 fumble recovery, 2 fumbles forced
2016 Stats – 65 tackles (46 solo), 22 tackles for a loss, 5.0 sacks, 6 passes deflected, 2 forced fumbles
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Twitter: @edoliver_11 Instagram: @edoliver_11
Coming out of high school, Ed Oliver was the #1 recruit in the nation. He had any offer you could imagine, but decided to stay at home and play for the University of Houston. Oliver became the first 5-star football recruit to ever commit to Houston, and dominated from Day 1 as apart of their program. After recording 65 tackles (22 for a loss) and 5 sacks as a freshman, Oliver put the college football world on notice. The athletic Defensive Lineman followed up his great freshman year with a dominant sophomore season, winning the Outland Award. Oliver is the first sophomore to ever win the prestige award, which is given to the best interior defensive lineman during that season. Oliver’s junior year showed flashes of explosion as well, but a recurring knee injury kept him in and out of the lineup. Even with the injures, Ed Oliver may be the most athletic Defensive Tackle you will ever see play. Oliver combines his athletic ability with plenty of strength, causing havoc on any given play. Oliver ran a 4.73 40 yard dash at his pro-day. That’s a lot of speed for a man weighing 287 pounds. Although Oliver is a giant compared to us everyday people, there are concerns that he doesn’t have the necessary size to anchor a defensive line. Most defenses need their interior lineman to hold gaps and stuff the run. Oliver is at his best when he is getting up the field and disrupting the backfield. Despite the questionable size and injury concerns, Oliver is still a highly valued prospect, and a lock to be a top 20 pick in the NFL draft. Drafting him may end up being the best (or worst) decision of a general manager’s career. Which team will end up taking that chance?
Ed Oliver is the second biggest “boom or bust” prospect in this draft class (Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray being the first). When he’s healthy, Oliver is a menace for opposing offensive lineman. When he jumps the snap count well, it’s usually bad news for the offense. Oliver is truly a freak of nature in terms of his athleticism. His Pro Day workout numbers were comparable to above average Defensive Backs! He uses his quick feet and balance to jump into gaps when playing against the run. Oliver is also incredibly violent at the point of attack. His explosive first step combined with his strength is a nightmare for whoever he is lined up against. He attacks offensive lineman with multiple moves, but often goes to his swim and rip moves to get past blockers. I’ve seen a lot of scouts mention his shorter arms (31 ¾”). Drafting a Defensive Tackle that has short arms and is also somewhat underweight (287 lbs), can be a big risk. I noted multiple plays where he was driven back off of the line of scrimmage with down blocks or double teams. If Oliver can continue to put on weight and strength, I think he can overcome these issues. As a pass rusher, Oliver relies heavily on his athletic ability. His speed and quickness often overwhelm interior blockers. His speed-to-power rush is one of the best in this draft class. There are plays on tape where he pushes double teams (!) back into the Quarterback and collapses the pocket. Interior pressure is a QB’s biggest fear, and Oliver provides that. Oliver’s 4.7 speed flashes on the field as well. If he recognizes a screen on the perimeter, he turns and runs to help on the tackle like a Linebacker. His effort and motor are tremendous, and there were a few plays that I saw him chasing ball carriers 30+ yards down the field. His injury-riddled 2018 season is worth discussing. There were several games where he spent quarters, and sometimes halves, on the sideline due to injury. Along with him only playing in 8 games in 2018. Knee injuries tend to be red flags for draft prospects. Recurring injuries like the one Oliver had tend to scare me as well. Despite the mentioned worries, this guy is a beast, make no mistake about it. If he can overcome these issues, we could be looking at a Top 5 Defensive Tackle in the NFL. I believe Oliver will gets selected somewhere in the pick 9, to pick 15 range. There have been some recent rumblings that he may get selected in the Top 5 of this year’s draft. We’ll see how it all plays out on April 25th.