Expert Opinion: CB Isaiah Oliver’s Profile
There are many cornerbacks in the draft that will make major impacts for whatever team drafts them. Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Isaiah Oliver is one of those players. Oliver is 6’1” and 195 lbs. Besides for playing for the football team, he was also a member of Colorado’s track and field team.
According to Pro Football Focus, in 2017, Isaiah Oliver had a passer rating against of 76.3. On 54 targets he only allowed 23 receptions for 382 yards.
Some of his strengths include his physical nature and athleticism. He has excellent ball skills and does a good job mirroring wide receivers down the field. He has excellent size for the position. When he does get beat, he is able to recover quickly thanks to his spectacular speed.
There are aspects of Oliver’s game that needs some work. For example, he needs to be more aggressive in run support. Additionally, he does not display the bravado that one associates with playing cornerback on a high level. The lack of bravado can be mistaken for ambivalence which could be very concerning to teams looking to draft him.
Due to the fact that the cornerback position is so deep, the range for where Oliver might get drafted is very big. He may go as high as middle of the first round to the Seattle Seahawks at pick #21 and as late as the third round. The Seahawks need help at cornerback after parting ways with Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane and Oliver might be the perfect replacement. Some of the other teams that have been linked to Oliver are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns.
While Oliver drawing interest from numerous teams is noteworthy, for our purposes here the important team to discuss is the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have spent money this off-season on cornerbacks T.J. Carrie and Terrance Mitchell and still have Jamar Taylor and Briean Boddy-Calhoun, but drafting a player like Isaiah Oliver makes a lot of sense because of his athleticism and big-play abilities.
If they are set on drafting him and there is a run on cornerbacks towards the end of the first round, they can trade up from #35 into the first round to draft him. The advantage of drafting a player in the first round is that the team would get the fifth-year option on him. If there is not a run on cornerbacks, they can draft him at the top of the second round at picks #33 or #35, or if they are confident enough that he will be there, maybe they wait until pick #64.
The Browns are in a prime position in this draft to improve immensely and a move like drafting Oliver would go a long way in completing that goal.