Weight: 287 lbs
40 Time: NA
Cone Drill: NA
225′ Reps: 32
Ed Oliver is one of the most rare elite athletes in the NFL Draft. He has unbelievable feet for a man his size. He is very quick and explosive at the snap of the ball. Most interior defensive linemen are not fast twitch athletes, but Oliver is the exception. His get off helps him become disruptive at the snap, and he can get in and control his gap. He also plays with great leverage and uses his hands extremely well. A great comparison for his leverage and hand usage is Kenny Clark.
Oliver has many attributes that simply cannot be taught. His instincts and effort may be two of the most impressive traits. He really is a wizard when it comes to his blocking awareness. He refuses to be blocked and to not reach his landmarks. Oliver’s effort pairs extremely well with his speed. It gives him a very impressive range, and he never quits on a play. There is no off switch to his motor.
The biggest knock on Oliver is his size and length. He falls below the average in both for NFL standards. The concern is he will get swallowed up by NFL offensive linemen. If they can initially get their hands on him, he may get locked up and not be able to use his athleticism to his advantage. However, when the tape is turned on, rarely does Oliver’s size and length become a big issue.
The only other concern is his pass rushing ability. He would win battles in college purely on his speed and effort. He will get some effort sacks in the NFL, but he will have to continue to develop his bag of tricks and counters. He will have to refine his game and get better with his plans. This will come with more film study. A veteran presence could really help him bolster his game early in his career.
How He Fits
The addition of Ed Oliver would easily make the defensive line the strength of the Packers defense. It would give Pettine five guys who could create pressure or hold up and stop the run at any time. Defense’s try to get guys to create sub packages with these type of athletes, and the Packers would have these players available for their base package. Za’Darious Smith, Preston Smith, and Ed Oliver will help round out a defensive line anchored by Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels.
What really makes this group scary is Oliver’s versatility. He could line up at any position or even drop in coverage. You could argue he is the first player of his type. A lot of the in between guys play EDGE, but Oliver’s strength is playing on the interior. Pettine would be able to play games and create pressure with those five guys up front whether it is gap control or stunts. This defensive line would make every unit on the Packers defense better.