Road to the Draft

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Meet the Prospect: Ed Oliver

Name: Ed Oliver

Position: Defensive lineman

School: Houston

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 287

40-yard dash: Did not run

Bench: 32 reps

Vertical: 36.0 inches

Broad: 120.0 inches

3-cone: Did not run

20-yard shuttle: Did not run

How he fits: Oliver is a bit undersized at 6-foot-2, but some analysts said the same thing about Aaron Donald (6-foot) coming out of Pittsburgh in 2013, and he's made a pretty good career for himself in the NFL thus far.

Oliver’s game is like Donald’s in that he’s at his best as a penetrator and disruptor from the interior. He played all over the line in Houston, even nose tackle, but he’ll probably work in the three-technique at the NFL level. He’s athletic enough to also swing outside and rush from the edge.

Oliver was asked to perform both defensive line and linebacker drills at the Combine, which speaks to his athleticism and versatility.

The Lions are looking for players who can rush the quarterback, affect the pocket and make plays. Oliver seems like he could be a moveable player in a defense that prides itself on being multiple from week to week.

Key observations: Oliver was the first five star recruit to sign with a non-Power Five conference school in Houston, according to NFL.com. He went to work right away recording 23 tackles for loss as a true freshman, the second most in the nation.

Oliver won the Outland Trophy and was a finalist for the Nagurski Award as a sophomore after recording 73 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, mostly while being double teamed. He suffered a knee injury this past season and played in eight games with 54 tackles, a team-high 14.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.

Similar to Devin White, who was profiled last Friday, Oliver owns and rides horses as an off-the-field hobby.

View photos of NFL prospect Ed Oliver.

What they had to say about him: “With his football flexibility and natural biomechanics, he has rare athletic ability for the position with the backfield vision to recognize play designs and disrupt from different angles. Oliver still requires time to develop his body, mind and technique at the next level. He will struggle with long-armed blockers who get to his frame and control his chest, but his energy and motor are both elite. Overall, Oliver won’t be a natural fit for every NFL scheme, but he is an ideal one-gap penetrator due to his athleticism, instincts and relentless nature, projecting best when he is lined up closest to the football.” – Dane Brugler, The Athletic

How he stacks up: Brugler is pretty high on Oliver, listing him as the No. 5 overall prospect in this draft in his recently released top 100 prospects.

NFL Network draft analysts Daniel Jeremiah lists Oliver as the No. 6 overall prospect. Oliver comes in at No. 8 on Mel Kiper Jr.’s Big Board.

Scouts Inc. lists Oliver as the No. 7 overall prospect in this draft class.

What he had to say: “I feel like I can play anywhere on the front seven,” Oliver said at the Combine. “I don't feel like I'll be wasting anybody's time anywhere on the front seven. I think I'd be wasting people's time if I was on the bench. I'd be wasting your time and money.”

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