Ed Oliver, Defensive Tackle, Houston Cougars
WEIGHT: 287 pounds
40 YARD DASH: 4.71
BENCH PRESS: 32 reps
BROAD JUMP: 120”
CAREER STATS: 192 tackles, 53 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles
STRENGTHS: Oliver possesses one of the best motors of any athlete in sports. He simply will not quit on any play, and will chase down a ball carrier regardless of location. The stats speak for themselves with him, and his testing numbers prove how explosive he is at the snap. It became obvious early and often that Oliver was the best player on the field, but he never let that go to his head. While he is explosive, he also relies on good technique and leverage to gain an advantage on the lineman blocking him. It’s tough for lineman to get their hands on him because he explodes at the snap too quick for them to react, and he uses his hands well to shed blockers quickly.
Ed Oliver was a rare player at Houston. His 53 tackles for loss were incredible for a defensive tackle, and justified all of the hard work he put in on and off the field. Scouts like his speed and explosiveness so much that they’ve listed him as a potential linebacker as well. Wherever he ends up, he will make an impact. Houston put him at nose tackle this year and that didn’t limit his effectiveness. Oliver demanded double and triple teams on a regular basis, and teams needed to know where he was at all times. There simply isn’t much that he can’t do, and his work ethic helps him address any weaknesses that may arise.
WEAKNESSES: Size has been his biggest question all along. Scouts worried that he played too light (under 280 pounds), and that he wouldn’t be able to hold up at defensive tackle. Oliver silenced that concern when he weighed in at the combine. With that size, some scouts are worried about his length. As we stated earlier, his explosiveness helps him negate that concern. A knee injury kept him sidelined for a good amount of time during the 2018 season.
The final concern that people may have is Oliver’s character. His incident with Major Applewhite over a jacket was blown out of proportion, and shouldn’t be an issue. Until that point, there hadn’t been a single concern about his character or any incidents to believe he would be a problem. Ed Oliver is one of the best players in this draft, and has always been worthy of a Top 5 pick. Whether he goes that high or not depends on the teams picking, but the team that gets him gets a star. It was time for him to move on from Houston, and he should have a successful career at the next level.