Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Ed Oliver is probably the most impressive prospect in this year’s draft. He is exceptionally quick for a defensive tackle. He is able to jump the snap at times and win his matchups on pretty much every play. What stands out about him is the way he dominates as a pass rusher. He is able to spear through the line quicker than the lineman. Good teams use a double team, but that still does not contain him all the time. What I love is the way he plays with relentless physicality and motor. We know his quickness as an athlete, but he also features a strong and compact punch.
Whatever he lacks in size, he makes up for in technique. This is a player that learned in his three years of starting how to play the leverage game. This is a guy who will light up the combine in every way. The only exercise I could see him being not near the top is the bench press. That is not to say that I don’t think he will put up a lot of reps. The last thing is that he is so dominant in his athleticism that he can move toward the football and stop the run. He also is very quick running to the football.
If there is one weakness I see in Oliver’s game, it is that he is a little undersized for a defensive tackle. I think his best fit is in a 3-4 as a defensive end. There he will be able to show off his superior pass rush ability. I think he can function in any defensive line position, but he is best used as either a defensive end in an odd front or a defensive tackle in an even front. He played the nose in college at times, but this position does not take advantage of his gifts as an athlete.
I see Ed Oliver as a number 1 pick and anywhere he falls will be due to the fact that may play the wrong position for some teams. This is the best defensive line prospect that I have seen.