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Bills Take Houston DT Ed Oliver with the 9th Pick in the 2019 NFL Draft

The 9th pick is in, and the Bills have gone defense in the first round, taking Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver in round one.

Here’s highlights on Oliver:

And a scouting report on Oliver:

Strengths:

Incredible athlete
Rare speed; extremely fast interior defensive lineman
Can take over games
Intimidating presence
Dangerous pass-rusher
Explosive
Closes on quarterbacks in a hurry
Excellent get-off
Fast feet
Splash plays
Extremely disruptive
Natural pad level
Skilled at shedding blocks
Good pursuit run defender
Plays with good leverage
Good motor
Instinctive
Awareness
Great twitch
Durable
Well conditioned
Upside; could get better with experience

Weaknesses:

Undersized
Lacks weight
Short
Struggles in downhill run defense
Weak lateral anchor
Lacks strength
Houston staff says 285-290 pounds is too heavy for him

Summary: Without ever playing a snap, Oliver made college football history. He became the first five-star recruit in history to chose a school that was not in a power-five conference. Many were surprised that the Houston native did not go with a local recruiting power house like Texas A&M, Texas or Oklahoma. Even though Oliver did not go to a Big XII school, that power-five conference immediately saw what it had missed out on when Oliver dominated Oklahoma in his first game as a true freshman. That game set the tone for a tremendous freshman year in which he totaled 66 tackles with 22.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles and nine passes batted.

In 2017, Oliver recorded 73 tackles with 16.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, three passes batted and two forced fumbles. Even with teams selling out to stop him, they struggled to slow him down, and he continued to live in the backfield of the opposition. As a junior, Oliver totaled 54 tackles with 14.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and two passes batted. He missed four games with a knee injury and chose to skip Houston’s bowl game to protect himself from injury and start preparing for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Oliver is an impactful interior pass-rusher with a rare ability to harass the quarterback as an inside rusher. His pass-rush potential is very hard to find, and that makes him a beloved prospect across the scouting community. Oliver is extremely fast at the point off attack. He explodes out of his stance and immediately achieves penetration into the backfield. On top of his speed and tremendous pad level, Oliver has active hands to slap away blockers’ hands. He also can bend and has the agility to redirect to the quarterback. Oliver has rare explosive speed off the ball and constantly lives in the backfield.


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