Ed Oliver Scouting Report
Submitted by: Vic Junior
#10 DL 1-5 Tech Oliver, Edward D.O.B 12/12/1997
College: Houston Year: Junior Team: TBD
Measurables (NFL Combine)
Weight: 287 lbs.
40 YD: DNP
10 YD: DNP
Arm: 31.75 in
Hand: 9 ¼ in
Vert: 36 in
3 Cone: DNP
Broad: 10’ 1”
Games Scouted: 2017: Memphis, South Florida 2018: Texas Tech, Memphis, Arizona, Rice
Quality Traits: Explosive, twitchy, quick, fast, strong lower body leverage, instinctive, high motor
Concerns: Below average size and length, needs lower body leverage to win, lacks pass rush diversity (tools).
Scheme Fit: “4-3 odd fronts” that use a variety of stunts and slants to take advantage of Oliver’s explosive ability. Will be best suited as a 3 technique in the NFL with occasional reps at 1, 2i, and 5 techniques.
Strengths: Well-built athlete with elite speed and explosiveness. Rare quick twitch player for the position with quick feet and movements like a linebacker. Instinctive football player that shows ability to read and react to run plays and displays elite traits by beating offensive lineman to a spot and wrecking the play. Strong lower body with the ability to stay low and under offensive lineman pads and win with leverage. Explosive get-off makes him effective on slants and penetrates gaps before offensive lineman can engage. Disruptive player who is constantly in the backfield. Loves to use a slap rip counter move after jab stepping blocker to one side. Motor runs hot consistently with great conditioning throughout the game and shows it with pursuit sideline to sideline. Seems to show good passion for the game and desire to be the best player on the field. High upside.
Weakness: Though Oliver stands at close to 6’2” he has below average size and length for the NFL. Measured in at 286 at the combine but word is he played in the 270s for Houston. This can be problematic against the elite quicker offensive lineman in the NFL that will also be strong enough to control Oliver’s elite traits. Oliver needs to be more diverse in his attack and utilize more pass rushing skills to counter the elite talent of his soon to be NFL counterparts to maintain effectiveness consistently. If loses leverage battle he can be mauled and pushed around. Not able to anchor down on lateral movements if he’s not able to penetrate gaps on run plays in zone blocking schemes. Because of this he has to rely on coming from behind blockers to disrupt play as opposed to beating blocker face to face. Can be reckless at times and over pursue plays.
Final Word: Ed Oliver is a very intriguing player in the 2019 draft, probably the most interesting one for me along with Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray. Oliver is just an extremely rare player at defensive line that shows the ability to take over a game with how disruptive he can be, but will that translate into the NFL? Aaron Donald is the closest comparison for Oliver, but Donald has consistently played at the 285 range but also seems to have a stronger upper body and overall functional strength to take on blockers against the run. Donald is also more diverse at this stage of his career in pass rush moves. It was disappointing to see that Oliver did not participate in the drills at the combine probably concerned with slower times at the 286 weight. But I think that he can maintain this weight and still put up above average numbers at 286. His vertical and broad jump were already way above average for inside defensive lineman. Concerns that 270s might be his best weight in the 270s has bought up conversations of him as a possible linebacker in the NFL. 53 tackles for loss in 3 seasons at Houston is an impressive total despite just having 13.5 sacks. He did however have a sideline blowup with Houston Head Coach Major Applewhite that teams will ask him about.
Projection: Top 15. Ultimately Oliver’s ability to be a disruptive pass rusher specifically at the 3 technique where pass rush production is limited in the NFL will get him drafted early. He will see more one on one matchups early in his career especially at the 3 as he was asked to play a lot of 0 and 1 techniques in Houston. Despite his weaknesses, I love Oliver’s game and believe that he will be a Pro Bowler in the NFL with a chance to achieve double digit sack totals as he gains more experience and better coaching.