2019 #9 Buffalo Bills – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
NFL Draft Scout
OUTLOOK: With more twists than a Hollywood thriller, Oliver left his hometown Houston Cougars to make the NFL jump following his junior season, recording an eye-popping 53 tackles for loss (among 192 total stops) over three consensus All-American years at the college level. The script started like many others, with the local boy becoming the big man on campus. Oliver staked his claim as one of the country's elite talents during a dominant true freshman campaign in which he exploded for 65 tackles, including 22 for loss and five sacks. Despite drawing constant double-teams as an almost comically-undersized nose tackle in Houston's three-man front, Oliver's playmaking prowess continued in 2017 when he registered a career-high 73 tackles, including 16.5 for loss along with a personal-best 5.5 sacks. As a true sophomore, Oliver was named the Outland Trophy winner as the nation's best lineman, a Nagursksi award finalist and his conference's Defensive Player of the Year. The bulls-eye on Oliver's back only grew larger when he announced his intentions to forgo his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL draft before his junior campaign even began. That announcement, along with missing four games due to a knee injury and a well-documented sideline confrontation with his head coach, Major Applewhite, during a game against Tulane, stole the focus away from yet another dominant campaign by Oliver. He actually finished ahead of the pace he had established his prior two seasons, collecting 54 tackles, including 14.5 for loss and three sacks over just eight games. It may sound counter-intuitive but oftentimes the toughest draw for the big guys blocking inside is a smaller guy, especially those with Oliver's exceptional quickness and agility. Oliver is one of the headliners of the most dominant defensive line class in at least the past 20 years and a likely top 10 pick.