2019 Oakland Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Ed Oliver
Position: Defensive Line
School: The University of Houston
Weight: 284 pounds
Projected Round : First
From the snap, you can see Oliver remains a man among boys. When he moves, three parts of his approach jump out. First, his initial move looks horizontal. Then, as he quickly bolts from his stance, he’s beaten the lineman already. Lastly, his torso will either accelerate diagonally or slip through daylight. At this point, Oliver and the guard look hip-to-hip. Once that occurs, he will disrupt the play. Although this may seem like hyperbole, Oliver’s frame and lightning quickness reminds many of Aaron Donald. However, Donals demeanor changes the conversation.
In college football, rarely do you see a defensive tackle chase a running back down 15-20 yards away from the line of scrimmage. Oliver makes this a habit. When the play rests in front of him, Oliver picks his opening and shoots the gap. Without hesitation, he will also funnel down the line to make the stop. During downhill running plays, Oliver will jolt offensive lineman vertically to gain the leverage and negate their advantage.
If the Raiders line Oliver up as a defensive end, no one would blink. Combined with his quickness is a rare speed. Not just the typical ten yard burst, but the decent sprint and closing angles on the ball. Oliver can also win on stunts versus opponents. He moves north and south with ease. Houston actually lined Oliver up in the backfield, scoring a touchdown. Yet, it did not appear as the normal, sloppy big man score. Oliver took the handoff naturally. In the end, this attribute will give opponent nightmares.
In observing Oliver’s power, look at his feet, as a base, they tell a story. When he stands up blockers or discards them, his feet are under his frame. As a result, he generates a ground up force to cast aside 300-pound blockers. If teams attempt to double him, Oliver can bull through a combo block. When some lineman will stagger their base and rock backwards, Oliver picks the correct should and takes their balance.
If you watch the film on mute, look at Oliver’s approach. There is a quick decision and feel for where the play will go, with little to no false steps. Also, he enjoys mixing it up with offensive lineman. While he can win strictly on speed, Oliver cherishes the moment of contact. From whistle to whistle, Oliver looks prepared to fight for leverage and attack the ball.
Most tackles will feast on landing on the ballcarrier, counting that for a tackling. However, Oliver’s explosion gives him a heads up. As mentioned, his quickness helps him in a myriad of ways. With tackling, Oliver snaps his hips and secures good wrap up. During misdirection, Oliver reaches an arm out to make contact. If he gets an arm on an opponent, the play will stop. Moreover, causing four fumbles signifies an impact tackler.
Granted, the Raiders did draft PJ Hall and Maurice Hurst. Yet, a player like Oliver could be too good to pass up. Imagine a rotation of Hall, Hurst, and Oliver. While they remain undersized, each would bring a different level of explosion to the line. More importantly, Ed Oliver gives the Raiders an impact pass rusher from the first day. Considering the fatal flaw of the defense, Oliver instantly upgrades the Raiders. In all honesty, Oliver’s only knock is his lack of size. Other than that, he would easily slide in at the three-technique. In addition, with Hurst’s longevity questions surrounding his heart, Oliver steps in and could dominate. Paul Guenther mentions the need to coach scheme specific players. When you look at Ed Oliver, what former Guenther player and current Bengals does he remind you of?