2019 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Houston iDL Ed Oliver



COLLEGE: Houston

CLASS: Junior

2018 STATS: 54 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 passes defended, 1 forced fumble (8 games)

CAREER STATS: 192 tackles, 53 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, 11 passes defended, 5 forced fumbles (32 games)

GAMES WATCHED (9): Rice, Arizona, Texas Tech, Navy, Memphis (2018); Memphis, Arizona, Navy, South Florida (2017)


BALL GET-OFF (20/20)

  • Exceptional first-step quickness — flies off the snap, gets a ton of depth out of first few steps
  • Excellent snap count anticipation


  • ELITE playmaking range for an interior defensive lineman — covers ground from sideline-to-sideline like a mike linebacker
  • Good stack-and-shed ability — gets off bocks consistently vs. run
  • Holds up pretty well against double teams
  • Inconsistent tackler — short arms limit tackle radius, doesn’t consistently break down and wrap-up on tackle attempts
  • Can get controlled/moved off the ball when bigger-bodied blockers are able to get their hands into his chest

POWER (13.5/15)

  • Very powerful upper body — violent hands with impressive knockback power
  • Overwhelming power rusher with bull rush and long arm maneuvers
  • Converts speed to power extremely well
  • Good lower body strength allows him to anchor vs. double teams


  • Plays with great natural leverage
  • Excellent hand usage vs. the run
  • Lacks consistent pass rush plan/go-to counter moves — has club/rip, bull rush and long arm moves, but needs more variety in pass rush plan to keep blockers guessing; has flashed a spin move as an inside counter


  • Good read-and-react skills — generally finds football quickly after engaging blockers
  • Assignment-sound defender that maintains gap responsibilities
  • Doesn’t over-pursue when rushing up the field


  • Undersized for any interior defensive line position
  • Not scheme-versatile because of size/length
  • Short arms limit tackle radius, cause occasional struggles with disengaging vs. longer-armed offensive linemen

MOTOR (5/5)

  • Non-stop motor as a pass rusher and run defender
  • Extremely relentless — will chase plays 20-30 yards down the field
  • Conditioning appears to be excellent


  • Ridiculous closing speed to finish plays in the backfield or chase down runners from behind as a pursuit defender
  • Very quick and fluid change-of-direction


  • Great hip/ankle/shoulder flexion
  • Can corner on lineman at tight angles with dip-and-rip move


  • Level of competition (American Athletic Conference)
  • Sideline altercation with Major Applewhite
  • Missed four games in 2018 due to knee injury
  • Size

OVERALL GRADE: 91.00/100.00 — TOP 10 — perennial Pro Bowler with All-Pro potential

NFL COMPARISON: (poor man’s) Aaron Donald

SCHEME FIT: 3-technique 4-3 DT; strictly a one-gap iDL


“Ed Oliver is the most physically gifted player in the 2019 NFL Draft class. His only current player comparison from a size/athleticism/power standpoint is Aaron Donald, although when compared as prospects, it’s clear that Oliver is a far cry from what Donald was at Pittsburgh, both from a technique and pass-rush productivity standpoint. At the college level, Oliver consistently dominated against the run, while showcasing flashes of brilliance as a pass rusher. With a few years of NFL coaching, Oliver could develop into a premier interior pass rusher with double-digit sack potential.” – Dan Wussow




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