With the 2019 NFL Draft not happening until later this week it runs from Thursday, April 25 through Saturday, April 27 there is still a chance for football gamblers to wager their money on some tasty prop bets.
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In a draft considered heavy on quality defensive linemen, University of Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver stands out as a player destined to go in the top part of the first round.
Here we go over the odds and predictions of which NFL team will draft Oliver, the fast-footed, slightly undersized two-time consensus All-American who knows how to rush, tackle and put the hurt on opposing quarterbacks.
Edward Oliver is the 21-year-old defensive tackle who was born in Houston, Texas in 1997 to mother Dana Baker and father Ed Oliver Sr.
Oliver played football at Westfield High School in Houston where as a junior he had 84 tackles and 7 sacks and as a senior recorded 83 tackles, 9 sacks, and an interception.
Listed as a five-star recruit and ranked as one of the top players of his draft class, Oliver was sought after by top-level colleges, but instead, he committed to play at the University of Houston.
Olivers decision to be the first five-star recruit to play college football outside the Power Five conferences came down to his fathers preference to keep the family together.
Marcus Oliver, Eds older brother, already played as the right guard at Houston and Ed Sr. preferred the two of them to play their college football together.
The two Oliver brothers ended up playing two seasons together in 2016 and 2017, and now Marcus has reportedly signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.
Oliver was productive right away, becoming an immediate starter his freshman year when he made 65 tackles (22 for loss), 5.0 sacks, 6 passes defended and 2 forced fumbles.
His second season was equally productive, with 73 tackles (16.5 for loss), 5.5 sacks, 3 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
During his junior (and final) season at Houston, Oliver only played in 8 games due to a bruised knee, yet still, he posted 54 tackles (14.5 for loss), 3.0 sacks, 2 passes defended and a forced fumble.
Olivers biggest highlight was being named First-team All-American all three seasons he played college football.
Other awards include being named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year (2017), being the first ever sophomore to win the prestigious Outland Trophy that same season, as well as winning the Bill Willis Trophy in 2016.
It is still being determined whether Olivers 39.5 tackles for loss are the most ever for a player in his first two seasons out of high school.
The short answer is not many.
Nick Bosa, Ohio States aggressive defensive end (and younger brother to Joey, already an NFL star), will most likely be drafted ahead of Oliver, if not first overall, and thats despite sitting out all of 2018 while recovering from core muscle surgery.
The other defensive end who may get selected before Oliver is Alabamas Quinnen Williams, who also won the Outland Trophy and who was an SEC Champion last season and a CFP national champion the season before that.
Ed Oliver measured in at 6-foot-2, 287-pounds with 31 ¾ arms and 9 ¼ hands.
Oliver benched 225-pound 32 times and his vertical jump was 36.0 inches while his broad jump was 120.0 inches.
The combine prospect grade that Oliver received was a 6.26, which indicates that he should be an instant starter in the NFL.
Olivers strengths are first and foremost his ability to dominate over center and to shoot gaps, his low center of gravity and nonstop motor, fast get-off and the leverage to win off the line of scrimmage.
The major weakness of Oliver is his size, 6-foot-2, 287-pounds, but that would only be an issue if he were playing over center for most of the snaps, whereas it looks like Oliver will be more of whats known as a three-technique, which means he would line up on the outside shoulder of the guard.
Bottom line, Olivers strengths far outweigh his slightly smaller size, and with his ability to move quickly at the snap and get skinny at the line, he should be ready right away to contribute to whichever team does select him.
As one NFL scout put it, watching Oliver is like watching Aaron Donald play, which is a high-level compliment considering Donald was named last years NFL Defensive Player of the Year, second season in a row.
Like Donald, Oliver is fast, disruptive and fun to watch, and in a league where quarterbacks and offenses are having their way with the scoreboard, having a pass rusher like Oliver on your roster will keep opponents on their toes and offenses off the field.
With the speed of a linebacker and the power to aggressively penetrate the line, Oliver will add a high-revving weapon to any NFL franchises defense.
Officially, Ed Oliver does not have a sports nickname yet, though his family calls him EJ for short.
But unofficially, on the field, hes been compared to a character from the old Bugs Bunny cartoon series whose quick and chaotic movements closely resemble his.
During Olivers freshman season, he helped his team defeat No. 3 Oklahoma and then Lamar Jacksons Louisville squad, and afterward a rival coach was heard calling Oliver the closest thing to the Tasmanian devil Ive ever seen.
Yes, in fact, Ed grew up riding a horse named Oreo, which Oliver considers to be the horse version of himself, saying the beast can be a little stubborn.
Every time you ride Oreo, it’s a little bit of a fight Oreo was a horse, if he didn’t want to do something, he’d rare up.
According to his father, Ed Sr., that explains why Ed Jr. can change directions on the football field so well, learning how to counter all of the twists and turns that Oreo threw at him.
Will the New York Jets snag Oliver with the third pick overall, or will they snag themselves an edge rusher instead?
Will Oliver slide all the way to the 24th pick so the Oakland Raiders who are in desperate need for pass rushers, can grab him?
Will Oliver still be available at pick 9 so the Buffalo Bills can add some much needed defensive help to their roster?
Here are the current odds and predictions of which NFL team will draft Oliver for his services.
If you live in New Jersey and want to bet on futures in NFL you can do so on 888sport.
Check out the latest odds here – good luck!
Caveat: If Oliver goes undrafted in the 2019 Draft, bets will be Void.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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