NFL Draft Talk Volume XXV
As the NFL draft draws closer and closer here are some questions that are circulating that pertain to prospects and their draft stock as well as their potential and projected impacts at the next level. How high could Houston defensive end Ed Oliver go in the first round? Prior to last season, Oliver was right alongside Ohio State’s Nick Bosa in the conversation for the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. He played in just eight games in his final collegiate season because of a knee injury and his character was called into question after some heated verbal exchanges he had with Cougar’s Head Coach Major Applewhite. Character concerns coupled with the attention that other top prospects garnered in his absence had him go from being in consideration for the No.1 overall pick to being projected as a mid-round selection during the early portion of the pre-draft process by draft pundits. However, his stock has been on a steady rise in recent weeks after some of these experts have talked to some of the top coaches and talent evaluators in the league about Oliver and heard nothing but glowing reviews and excitement about his immense talent and potential. He blew scouts away at Houston’s Pro Day yesterday when he ran a blazing unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.75 at 281 pounds and was equally as impressive in on-field drills as some of the top defensive line coaches in the league wanted to get an extensive look at how his conditioning and technique has improved since the Combine. He is now being mocked to go as high as the top five of the first round in recent mock drafts. The athletically gifted defensive linemen can put pressure on the quarterback and penetrate into the backfield to disrupt the run game from anywhere on the line whether it's off the edge or from the interior. He can come into the league and be a game wrecker from day one for whoever is fortunate to draft him.