clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Can Washington afford to take another first-round defensive lineman? Why Houston’s Ed Oliver play-making potential should trump any size concerns.

New, comments

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Navy at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Oliver, DL
School: Houston | Conference: AAC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 287 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 1st round
NFL Comparison: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Cleveland Browns

College Statistics

Player Overview

Well, to save us all some time, you can see the millions of accolades Ed Oliver accumulated over his three year period at the University of Houston here. As you can see, Oliver’s career as a non-Power Five conference five-star recruit was nothing short of spectacular. Oliver became the first three-time All-American and first three-time All-Conference honoree in Houston history.

Strengths

  • Great penetration and timeliness.
  • Plays with great effort each snap, knows where the football is, constantly chases down the football.
  • Explosive and quick defensive lineman with good bend on the edge as pass-rusher.
  • Showed capable of handling double teams, though size may become issue with this on pro-level.
  • Exceptional hand usage, often times capable of dictating where he wants to go.
  • Undersized - but natural leverage along with strength creates havoc for offensive lineman (i.e. Aaron Donald). Great hitter.

Weaknesses

  • Undersized for position - Which nowadays is not a serious issue, but cause for concern compared to average positional size. Also, playing in the AAC is a red flag due to quality of lineman faced in conference, Oliver did not play against true elite offensive line consistently.
  • Length an issue - Can have great penetration but has shown problems making tackles in the backfield.

Let’s see his work (DT #10)

How he would fit on the Redskins

As it stands now, Oliver’s size creates a great deal of concern to be considered for a 3-down lineman. In my opinion, it creates the opportunity for him to slip outside of the top ten in the NFL Draft. For the Redskins, Oliver would be viewed as a situational defender. Although undersized, Oliver is an explosive and very skilled athlete that should be utilized in aspects that calls for playmakers. In the 3-4 defense, he may become a wash at the line of scrimmage, as professional offensive lineman may be able to handle him with ease in run/pass situations. However, coaches can utilize him best in a 4-3 base at defensive tackle where he can maximize his burst and penetration ability to disrupt a play. Alternatively, for the Redskins, nickel situations that calls for Oliver, would be a great option. If selected by Washington in the first round, it may lessen the pressure of finding a “1B” option at edge rusher to go along with outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. As the young defensive lineman continues to develop and grow, adding a player like Oliver will continue to bolster a great core and add to the interior quarterback pressures. As his career goes on though, I fully expect Oliver to continue to add to his frame, adding on weight, and it will become less of a factor with more years as a NFL Pro.