Scouting Report | Ed Oliver, DT, Houston


Personal Background

  • 2x Consensus All-American, 2017-2018
  • AAC Defensive Player of the Year, 2017
  • Outland Trophy Winner, 2017
  • First player in school history to earn First-Team All-Conference honors in three years
  • AAC Honor Roll in Sep and Oct of 2016

Courtesy of University of Houston Football.

Injury History

  • Played in 32 of 36 possible games
  • Missed 4 games in 2018 with a bruised right knee


  • 53 tackles for loss since 2016, 1st in AAC
  • Led the nation with 1.56 tackles for loss per game in 2017; averaged 1.8 tackles for loss in 2018 before his injury
  • 13 sacks in 32 games played, mostly from the nose tackle position
  • On pace to average over 40 solo tackles per season before his injury
  • Led his school in tackles for loss (16.5), sacks (5.5), hurries (7), and forced fumbles (2) in 2017
  • Career-high 14 tackles vs Navy (11/17) and 5 tackles for loss at ECU (10/18)
Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2016 Houston American FR DT 12 46 19 65 22.0 5.0 0 0 0 6 0 2
*2017 Houston American SO DT 12 47 26 73 16.5 5.5 0 0 0 3 1 2
*2018 Houston American JR DT 8 29 25 54 14.5 3.0 0 0 0 2 0 1
Career Houston 122 70 192 53.0 13.5 0 0 0 11 1 5
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/27/2019.

Film Reviewed

  • Memphis (2018)
  • Navy (2018) – TV
  • Texas Tech (2018) – TV
  • Arizona (2018)
  • Rice (2018) – TV
  • Tulsa (2017)
  • SMU (2017)

Measurables (School Website)

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 286 lbs

Combine Measurables

  • Height: 6′ 1-7/8″
  • Weight: 287 lbs
  • Hand: 9-2/8″
  • Arm: 31-6/8″
  • Wingspan: 77-3/8″


  • Carries a fit-looking torso atop a base of thick thighs with an explosive lower body. Plays with excellent stop-start and change of direction skills, short area quickness and burst. Moves with almost linebacker-esque speed in space.
  • Played primarily as a 0-technique nose tackle but has had a handful of snaps at all other interior spots.
  • Often engages blockers with a squat lower body that gives him a naturally lower pad level and center of gravity. Regularly gets underneath offensive linemen and can uproot seal and down blockers to disrupt blocking schemes.

  • Very good at transferring energy from his feet to his hands. Able to absorb contact like a spring, then uncoils with explosive force to blow back blockers.

  • Exceptional lower leg drive and hip strength allow him to reset the line of scrimmage. Will break through reach and angle blocks, turn base blockers, and knock flat-footed centers to the ground.

  • Very good-to-rare play strength in his lower body and torso. Combined with his consistently high competitiveness and pursuit skills, he’s able to get up off the ground, even with a lineman on top of him, and chase ball carriers through traffic. He’s often seen sprinting after the ball from sideline to sideline or downfield from behind.

  • Possesses the raw power to stalemate and defeat double teams when engaging both blockers simultaneously.
  • Is a sure tackler. Once he wraps both arms around someone, the play is over.
  • Solid upper body play strength and vision. Knows how to use his length to stack blockers so he can track the ball in the backfield, then sheds his man to attack the gap.
  • Shows explosiveness in his lower body by leaping off the ground to deflect passes and has the lateral agility to succeed on slants and stunts.
  • Has a capable rip move and converts speed to power well in his bull rush.


  • Tends to lack peripheral awareness against double teams when he’s occupied by a single blocker first. Gives ground laterally as his feet aren’t ready to anchor a hit from the side.

  • Occasionally drawn offside because he can be too aggressive in his get-off and timing of the snap.
  • Needs a lot of development in his hand usage as a pass rusher. Shows little nuance or variety in his technique, lacks speed and power in his hand moves beyond the bull rush.
  • Does not appear to have a plan when he rushes the passer.


Ed Oliver fits in both one-gap and two-gap schemes anywhere along the interior. His superb lower body power and athleticism make him a salivating addition for any front office and coaching staff. The Houston native is a player whose super-productive track record should carry over to the NFL. However, some teams will view him as an undersized prospect, given his sub-290 lb listed weight, meaning his most likely fit is at three-technique, where he’ll face more one-on-one matchups. The former Cougar will start for any club his rookie year. Presuming he develops his hand-fighting techniques and pass rush skills, he’ll thrive as a disruptive under-tackle and should be a candidate for defensive player of the year by his third season.

The key to his entire game is his legs. They power everything he does and are critical to his success. Much of his upper body strength relies on him loading up energy in his legs and transferring it through his hips and up his back into his arms. By themselves, his arms and hands lack skill and refinement. But he’s a high-effort player with a lot of untapped potential and a strong base to build upon due to his amazing lower body explosiveness and change of direction. Because of his low center of gravity, he often sets himself up in an advantageous position to gain leverage against his opponent. With the right additions to his toolkit, he could be a dominant defensive tackle for years to come.

Ultimately, Oliver is a top-10 prospect who projects as a high-level starter that teams will win because of. Although less developed in the passing game than some of his fellow draftees, coaches will feel confident in their ability to teach him proper hand usage. Given his overall strength and athleticism, the 2017 Outland Trophy winner’s ceiling is too high to ignore or pass on in the draft.


You can follow Allan on Twitter at @AllanUy22