Ed Oliver NFL Draft 2019: Scouting Report for Buffalo Bills' Pick

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 26, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, MD - OCTOBER 20:  Ed Oliver #10 of the Houston Cougars in position during a college football game against the Navy Midshipmen at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Annapolis, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

STRENGTHS

—Three-year starter and highly recruited prep player who stayed local at University of Houston and became a nightmare in the backfield by posting 13.5 sacks and 53 tackles for loss while often receiving double- and triple-team attention.

—Rare athlete with unreal first-step quickness and speed; fires out of a low stance with awesome leverage and pad height and is too quick for most offensive linemen to get their hands on.

—Major effort player who will fight through combo blocks and is seen hustling down the field to make stops in the run game; doesn't give up on a play or take snaps off when he's on the field. All heart and hustle.

—Played selfless football by often lining up at nose tackle despite everyone in the football world knowing he was suited for a gap-penetrator role; played hurt, fought through constant double- and triple-teams and didn't let his play level drop.

—Is able to win with initial quickness but has learned to pair that well with spins and head fakes, but he still has room to develop as a pass-rusher and will see instant improvement once he's given advice from NFL coaches.

   

WEAKNESSES

—Undersized by NFL standards at 6'2", 287 pounds and with just 31¾-inch arm length.

—Knee injury nagged his junior season and kept him from reaching his max potential.

—Had a heated argument that almost got physical with the head coach at Houston over wearing a coat on the sideline of the team's game.

—Struggles to shed double-teams and can't fight through combo blocks due to lack of length.

—Doesn't have a well-developed counter move in his pass-rushing toolbox.

—Has the Ndamukong Suh issue of his upfield push being so fast that teams run at him, especially counter plays to trap his quickness.

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OVERALL

Oliver made the surprising decision to declare for the 2019 NFL draft before the 2018 draft had even taken place, but his reputation as one of the most athletic interior linemen in the last decade had been backed up on the field. Even through an injury in his final season, Oliver balled out for Houston and showed his value, production and elite athleticism. Teams may get hung up on his size, but Oliver should be a top-10 pick in this draft class if they pay attention to film and upside.

     

GRADE: 7.25 (ROUND 1—TOP-15 PLAYER POTENTIAL)

   

PRO COMPARISON: Gerald McCoy

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