From now until the 2019 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
Ed Oliver /Houston DT – 6’1” 274 lbs.
– Holds his own versus double teams
– Rides blockers until he finds the ball
– Creates creases on the line of scrimmage and exploits them
– Screams across line of scrimmage
– Uses speed and power with leverage to get to whomever has the ball (pass or run)
– Great motor, plays until the whistle
– Explosive hands and good bend
– Flows up and down the line of scrimmage
– Rips and clubs his way to the quarterback
– Small for an interior lineman (height and weight), which at times puts him in bad situations
– Knee injury in 2018 caused him to miss four games
– Only ideal as a three tech player on a 4-3 front, might get dominated in other spots
– Draft twitter has mentioned a conversion to inside linebacker in third and long situations due to size as a designated off-ball rusher (could that work?)
– 2016-18 Consensus All-American
– 2017 Outland Trophy Winner and Nagurski finalist
– In three years of college, he made 122 solo tackles, 70 assists, 53 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, deflected 11 passes, recovered 1 fumble, and forced 5 fumbles
– Five star recruit by ESPN, rivals, scout, and 247Sports
– Started every college game when he was healthy
Lines up heads up on the center, #10 fires out in a 4-point stance at the snap. It’s his balance and quickness that command three blockers to him when Houston only sent three blitzers. His pressure might have been enough to force the errant throw. Oliver showed off a good motor on that play.
In the red zone, Oliver lines up on the outside shoulder. Off the snap, he reads a run to his right and gets underneath the lineman’s base. #10 spins off the center’s grasp and swallows the running back up with a little help from a fellow defender! His sense of balance and awareness were shown on that play.
The Houston defender lined up on the outside shoulder of the center and fired into the gap between the guard and center. He clubbed and ripped his way right past towards the quarterback. While Oliver made a diving sack attempt that missed badly, his effort still forced the signal caller to get rid of the ball quicker than he wanted.
Lined up across the right guard on a 3rd and long, Oliver gets past his blocker quickly and already sees the ball fly out of the quarterback’s hand into the flat. #10 races out in an attempt to meet the back in space. While the defender didn’t make the tackle, his athleticism at his size to scream out there so quickly will definitely force offensive coordinators to scheme against him in particular.
Kicked outside as the left defensive end, #10 gets around the slower right tackle with relative ease. Oliver does get caught peeking into the backfield and gets popped by the tackle he blew right past as the ball is handed off. The defender does not give up on the play and catches up with the runner who was slowed down by a big pile. It’s his balance, athleticism, and motor that makes Oliver a factor on every play.
Of course Oliver does not fit the Steelers defense, much like the slightly bigger Aaron Donald did not. He will be best used as a three tech in a 4-3 front or would be an awesome nose if anyone would run a five man front.
Projection: Top 15
Games Watched: Texas Tech, Arizona, Memphis