Oliver could be the Bills' best choice at No. 9

Joseph Duarte from the Houston Chronicle shared why the stud defensive tackle should be on Buffalo's radar

Jon Simon
April 15, 2019 - 6:48 pm

Photo: Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 NFL Draft is just 10 days away and on Monday at the Buffalo Bills’ offseason workout, general manager Brandon Beane said they’ll be taking the best player available with their ninth overall selection. 

Ed Oliver is a player that’s been projected to the Bills in a number of mock drafts, and has been talked about amongst the experts as one of the best prospects in this year’s class. The defensive tackle from the University of Houston was a three-time All-American during his collegiate career, and won the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) as a sophomore. 

Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle joined Howard Simon and Jeremy White a few weeks ago to share some insight on Oliver, who elected to head to the NFL after just three seasons with the Cougars.

“There’s one word [to describe Oliver’s game]: Motor,” Duarte said. “It’s one that doesn’t have an off switch. He came in as a five-star recruit and Houston doesn’t get those types of players. He made an impact from day one. His first game in college was against Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma, and he made life miserable for Baker. He’s a high-energy guy, doesn’t take plays off, goes sideline-to-sideline, and is just powerful. When you look at his strength, it was like a man playing against boys.”

Heading into the 2018 season, Oliver was in the discussion as a top-three draft prospect, or even the No. 1 overall selection. However, his junior season was cut-short due to a knee injury and the defensive tackle was limited to just eight games.

Oliver still made headlines during a game, despite being off the field. In November during a game against Tulane, Oliver and Houston head coach Major Applewhite (who was fired at the end of the season) got into a heated confrontation on national television over a jacket that Oliver was wearing on the sideline. Oliver’s draft stock has slipped a bit since the incident due to questions about his character.

“I think it was more the injury [that lowered Oliver’s stock] than anything,” Duarte stated when asked about the incident. “The Major Applewhite situation, in my opinion, didn’t do a lot because it was blown out of proportion. It was on national television and everybody saw it, but the next day they dowsed the flames on that. At the combine it wasn’t a big deal. I think there was a lot of uncertainty about his knee.”

Despite his slide, Oliver has pushed himself back up thanks to a strong showing at the combine. Duarde mentioned he believes Oliver is back up into the “top-five-to-eight range” and has drawn comparisons to an Aaron Donald-type of player.

Oliver would be a big addition to the Bills’ defensive line should Buffalo take him at No. 9 next on Thursday, April 25.

You can listen to the entire interview below:

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