Ed Oliver has been a beast since he was first being recruited out of high school. Having significant interest from Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma, when it came time, he opted to stay home and play for the University of Houston, coached at that point by recent hire Tom Herman. Oliver came in as the third-best DT in the country, behind Michigan’s Rashan Gary and Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence.

Despite playing at a non-Power 5 school, Oliver racked up accolades and statistics, including the 2017 Outland Trophy, and the record in Tackles For Loss in the AAC since 2005, with 53 TFLs, despite playing less than three full seasons. While all of these things are absolutely fantastic for a college player, the question is how he’ll get by in the modern NFL.

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Oliver came to the combine and was measured out at 6’2 and 287 lbs. One of the things that scouts will discuss is his weight, which at first glance is outside the norm for the average NFL DT. However, the counter to that argument is Aaron Donald. Donald has really come to prominence in the NFL in the last couple years, despite being considered undersized when he came into the league. Oliver did extremely well at the combine, placing in the top-5 in the bench press, vertical and broad jumps.

Oliver has shown himself to be an elite athlete on the field and, for the most part, off of it as well. He is a very quick athlete for someone at the DT position and has shown the he never takes off plays when he is on the field. The explosiveness that he has worked well in college, but one of the things he should work on is the variety with which he attacks the rush, as the offensive line will limit his effectiveness if he doesn’t vary his attacks. He is a very instinctive player, and is versed at picking up plays early, putting himself in the best position to succeed.

While the Browns recently picked up Sheldon Richardson, if Oliver were to fall to bottom of the first round or into the second round, the Browns could be poised to snap him up. Ogunjobi will likely be secure because he’s still on his rookie contract, so the reason to take a chance on Oliver would be Richardson’s contract. Richardson is in the Top 10 in the NFL for DTs in terms of average contract money, despite struggling the past few seasons. Taking Oliver would allow them to keep Richardson on a short leash, while also giving the Browns line depth on the outside. 

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