2018 Jets Draft Prospect
Name: Isaiah Oliver
Oliver’s size and strength makes him an ideal cornerback. At six foot one, he has the size to take on most pro-wide receivers. That being said, he also possesses the ability to cover strong-armed tight ends which could help any team against players such as Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham.
But at only 195 pounds, Oliver is light on his toes, something most teams look for in a defensive back. This propels Oliver to be able to pick up and go and stay going. With speed and coordination on his side he can run a deep route or disrupt a route by cutting in and breaking up the play.
Click and close from Isaiah Oliver. pic.twitter.com/8pfmBRgWvV
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) February 25, 2018
Oliver comes up short in some areas, however. The fact that with his tremendous speed, he sometimes needs to slow down a lot in tight coverage. This tends to lead to Oliver crashing into people which can hurt him and others.
Backpedaling and transitioning from side steps or back steps to match the run pattern hurts his progress as well. This common weakness in some NFL corners is constantly the reason why a big offensive play may occur.
Another flaw with that is he can not go and redirect himself without a step or two which hurts the under route. Oliver also hits below the beat on his tackles, grabbing ankles instead of chest. This can hurt him and allow opposing wide receivers to run off.
With any prospect you are going to get the rookie-green college fresh scent. They were great at their college with little missteps, and that’s fine. Once they come to the professional leagues then the rookie eventually becomes the veteran. Oliver can become a playmaker who makes that difference.
Sure there are some flaws that need to be addressed, but those are minor things with some hours at training that can fix. However, his natural talent is there and that is makes him a top 50 pick. Top 50 is reasonable because most teams this year possess the need for a quarterback and a cornerback. More likely than not, they will go for the quarterback first before the corner.
Should Oliver go lower than top 50 then that team just stole a great cornerback. His size and strength makes him great, and his speed is one that many people will be looking at. Expect whoever takes him to prepare for guys such as Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill, Tyler Lockett, Robby Anderson and Odell Beckham Jr.
The more you watch Isaiah Oliver, the less excuses you have to not put him really high on your board. I will have a piece on this later in the week, but I think Oliver is a top 15 kind of player in this class. If I had to rank the Top 4: Alexander, Oliver, Ward, Hughes.
— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) February 13, 2018
The Jets interest in Oliver is to simply shut down the big plays. It is no big secret the Jets can get burned in the secondary. Last year the secondary was hit or miss. They either stopped the big play or got burned by the big play.
Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, the two rookies/greenie safeties, can not do all the work. The Jets need someone to be the top corner that everyone fears. Morris Claiborne got the job done last season but they need someone else there. Buster Skrine is a decent positional player, but the number of accrued penalties in 2017 hurt his stock.
That all being said, Oliver can be that cornerback that helps the Jets shut down the big plays. With his Darron Lee type energy he can be explosive and help out this hurting defense.