The Buffalo Bills have had some high quality defensive tackles throughout their history. Ted Washington, Sam Adams, Pat Williams, and Kyle Williams are more than likely the names that will stick out most to Buffalo Bills fans. Ed Oliver, selected 9th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, has a chance to bet better than all of them.
What sets Oliver apart from the other names listed above is his style of game is different. He plays three technique defensive tackle. This means, more so than the defensive tackle next to him, it is Oliver’s job to provide pass rush.
We saw glimpses of just how good Ed Oliver can be in toward the latter half of his rookie season. The game that sticks out the most was the Thanksgiving tilt against the Dallas Cowboys. His two sacks and forced fumble really kept the Cowboy’s offense from being able to put any real dent in the Buffalo Bills lead.
Due to Oliver’s size (6’3, 290) and athleticism many people want to compare Oliver’s ceiling to that of Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. However Donald is a two time NFL Defensive Player of the Year for a reason. That reason is that he consistently wreaks havoc on opposing offenses on almost every play of every game. You cannot reasonably expect or project that for Oliver. Instead most fans should be content with getting “Aaron Donald type” impact plays from Oliver in stretches and consistently good play the rest of the way. That seems to be a reasonable expectation for projecting his ceiling.