Ed Oliver

Poll: Which Top 10 Pick Has The Highest Bust Potential?

The NFL Draft is just barely in the rear view mirror, which means that teams are full of hope for their young rookies. But, of course, the NFL Draft is largely a crapshoot, and not every player will realize their full potential. 

This year’s draft had talent, but lacked a true consensus on the top player. Many evaluators pegged defensive end Nick Bosa as the player with the highest ceiling in the 2019 class, but other saw Alabama’s Quinnen Williams as the “safest bet.” The 49ers pounced on Bosa with the No. 2 pick while the Jets (and former GM Mike Maccagnan) were delighted to land Williams at No. 3 overall.

Leading up to the draft, much of the attention was on Oklahoma quarterback (and one-time MLB hopeful) Kyler Murray. When Murray announced that he would ditch the Oakland A’s, his stock exploded – Murray was considered a borderline first-round prospect in the winter, but wound up as the Cardinals’ choice at No. 1 overall. Murray has the speed that teams crave at the QB position, but questions persist about his size and overall lack of experience as a full-time starter.

The Cardinals’ long flirtation with Murray brought us the expected result, but the Raiders gave us the real first shock of the draft when they tapped Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 overall. Not to be outdone, the Giants snagged Duke’s Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall. Heading into the draft, neither player was thought to be anywhere near Top 10 consideration, but Mike Mayock and Dave Gettleman were unwilling to trade down and risk losing out on their guys.

The domino effect created by those picks allowed the Bucs to grab inside linebacker Devin White (No. 5 overall), the Jaguars to land outside linebacker Josh Allen (No. 6), the Lions to snag top tight end T.J. Hockenson, the Bills to draft defensive tackle Ed Oliver (No. 9 overall), and the Steelers to finish out the Top 10 with linebacker Devin Bush. Most of those picks were warmly received, but nothing is certain in the draft.

Which Top 10 pick do you think has the highest bust potential? Click below to cast your vote (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comment section.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Sign DT Ed Oliver

The Bills have their top 2019 draft choice under contract. Ed Oliver signed his four-year deal on Thursday, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).

Oliver can be under Bills control through 2023, via the fifth-year option. He signed a $19.675MM deal, the slot price for this year’s No. 9 overall pick, that contains a $12.239MM signing bonus. The Houston alum is expected to be a regular contributor in his first NFL season.

Having received Aaron Donald comparisons, Oliver drew interest from numerous teams. The Jets were linked to him at No. 3 overall, but after the Raiders and Giants made unexpected picks, Oliver fell to the Bills at 9. They will likely plug him into their three-technique slot.

Oliver joins a Bills defense that ranked second in yardage and DVOA last season. He will succeed Kyle Williams on Buffalo’s front, the 21-year-old trekking to western New York after recording 53 tackles for loss in three Cougars seasons.

East Rumors: Bills, Jernigan, Fins, Giants

Prior to the Giants’ selection of Daniel Jones, the Bills were engaged in talks to move down from their No. 9 spot. In a must-watch piece for Bills fans and draft buffs, Brandon Beane allowed partial access to his team’s draft room (video link). Buffalo scrapped talks to trade down once New York selected Jones, with Beane zeroing in on Ed Oliver shortly after. It appeared the Bills, despite taking Dawson Knox in Round 3, did not have interest in T.J. Hockenson, the Lions’ selection at No. 8. Applause occurred after Detroit left Oliver on the board.

The Bills also offered an undisclosed team picking in the 20s, which initiated the talks, picks 40, 131 and 147. (Beane said multiple teams contacted him to inquire if the Bills wanted to move back into Round 1.) But said team did not believe that was enough to move out of the round. This move was likely for Cody Ford. The Bills attempted to trade up higher than they did in order to land Ford in the second round, with members of their draft room showing relief the Panthers — whom Bills execs assumed were taking the Oklahoma lineman — before striking a deal with the Raiders for No. 38. The Bills also rebuffed a Bears offer to move out of No. 74, which ended up sending running back Devin Singletary to Buffalo.

Moving to an NFCer’s defensive line situation, here is the latest from the East divisions:

  • The Eagles released Timmy Jernigan but brought him back at what turned out to be a substantial discount. After signing a four-year, $48MM extension late in 2017, Jernigan had to settle for a one-year, $1.25MM deal, Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. This comes with $1MM guaranteed, including a $250K signing bonus. Another $750K is available in incentives, per Frank. Jernigan now enters what will be a significant season for his career trajectory. A full-time starter for the Super Bowl champion Eagles edition, Jernigan will only be 27 by the time free agency opens in 2020.
  • Currently at the Vikings‘ rookie camp, Sean McGuire appears to have another suitor in the event Minnesota does not sign him. The Dolphins are interested in adding the Western Illinois quarterback prospect, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). The Dolphins want to add a quarterback before their rookie camp begins May 10, Jackson continues. Miami now has Josh Rosen, Ryan Fitzpatrick and former Lions backup Jake Rudock on its roster. The Dolphins cut Luke Falk earlier this week. McGuire would seemingly compete for a third-string job or practice squad slot in Miami.
  • The Dolphins are likely to turn to the veteran offensive line market as well, Jackson writes, adding only four players — Laremy Tunsil, Daniel Kilgore, fellow starter Jesse Davis and third-round pick Michael Deiter — are true locks to make the roster. Although Jackson adds sixth-round pick Isaiah Prince and UFA signing Chris Reed will likely make the team as well, he notes the team appears ready to explore some additional help. Jared Veldheer, Donald Penn, Jermey Parnell, Mike Remmers, Andy Levitre and Stefen Wisniewski are some of the notable vets available.
  • Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine did not show for their rookie minicamp this weekend. The team wants the recent gunshot victim to stay in Kansas and be with family, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano (on Twitter). The Washburn-developed cornerback is expected to make a full recovery and attempt to make Big Blue’s 53-man roster — one without many surefire answers at corner.
  • Former Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey is officially listed on the Giants’ roster as a quarterback/tight end, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets. Dungey was a dual-threat player for the Orange, finishing his career with 1,993 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns.

Breer’s Latest: Jets, Broncos, Rudolph

Some assorted notes from SI.com’s Albert Breer leading up to tonight’s draft…

  • The Jets are beginning to gain some traction on a deal involving the third-overall pick. Breer mentions that the Redskins could be a match, with the team presumably eyeing a quarterback. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins could be an option, as could Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (if he isn’t taken with the first-overall pick). Breer notes that if the Jets remain in the top-10, they could opt for Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who one scout described as “the epitome of a [defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams player.”
  • Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is “rising continuously in draft meetings” among the Broncos front office. The team could be eyeing him with pick No. 10, or they could be preparing for a scenario where Lock falls towards the bottom of the first round.
  • After paying Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter, the Vikings could be looking to deal one of their other pricey veterans. Tight end Kyle Rudolph could be a trade candidate, and Breer writes that he wouldn’t be shocked if the Patriots make a play for the pass-catcher. The writer mentions cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes as well as wideout Laquon Treadwell as trade candidates.
  • Two players who are set to play on their fifth-year option are on the block. Breer writes that Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor and 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead “have been part of trade discussions.” On the flip side, Breer believes that it’s unlikely that the 49ers trade defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.
  • If Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat gets past the Redskins (No. 15), Panthers (No. 16), or Seahawks (No.21), Breer is unsure how far the defensive end could end up falling. Breer points to the Rams as a potential fit at the end of the first round. Reports indicated that Sweat was diagnosed with a heart condition, although there were rumblings today that he may have been misdiagnosed.

Latest On Jets’ No. 3 Overall Pick

Kyler Murray and Joey Bosa have been predicted to head to the NFC West for weeks. If that does not happen, the draft will become captivating from the start. But the Jets are not viewed as likely to have a shot at Bosa.

The pass rusher-seeking team, though, may be ready to make a surprise pick at No. 3. Linked to Josh Allen and Quinnen Williams, the Jets instead are believed to be high on Ed Oliver. Jets coaches have been pushing for Oliver, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. This would cap a resurgence for the Houston-honed prospect.

This coincides with NBC Sports’ Peter King indicating the Jets are not enamored with Allen, the player viewed as the next-best edge rusher to Bosa in this draft. Allen improved his stock by coming back for his senior season at Kentucky, and Brian Costello of the New York Post writes the Jets are a bit concerned about the edge prospect being a one-year wonder. He posted 17 sacks as a senior after registering seven apiece in his sophomore and junior seasons.

Oliver announced before his junior season he would turn pro at its conclusion. He only played in eight games in 2018 and finished with Cougars career lows in sacks (three) and tackles for loss (14.5). The 6-foot-2 interior rusher would seemingly be a better fit in a 4-3 scheme, but despite the Jets sticking with their 3-4 look, Gregg Williams obviously has extensive experience using a 4-3.

Of course, this late Oliver rise may be a smokescreen. Those do peak in April. An NFL executive, per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, believes this Oliver-Jets buzz is centered around coaxing the Raiders to trade up a spot to nab him. The Raiders — who use a 4-3 scheme — are believed to “love” Oliver, per Costello. However, Vacchiano adds Gregg Williams is indeed pro-Oliver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Notes: Jones, Brown, Bills, Raiders

Beyond Kyler Murray‘s long-rumored Cardinals fit, landing spots for this draft’s other top quarterbacks are difficult to determine. But Daniel Jones, despite not exactly having impressive college statistics, has gained more steam as a first-round pick. One team has the Duke prospect as the top quarterback on its board, according to Yahoo.com’s Charles Robinson (on Twitter). The Giants are believed to be high on him. So are the Patriots. While one scout wondered (via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com) if the former Blue Devils signal-caller would slip to the third round had he not played under David Cutcliffe, who coached both Manning brothers when they were college passers, another scout and a former GM said (via NBC Sports Washington’s Ben Standig) they each would take Jones over Drew Lock. It certainly looks Jones will land in the first round next week.

Here is the latest from the 2019 draft talent pool:

  • Another first-round hopeful, Marquise Brown, also looks like a lock to hear his name called Thursday. The Oklahoma-honed speedster may be the only guaranteed wideout to go off the board in Round 1, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report notes, after speaking with NFL staffers. Said execs then place Ole Miss alums D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown as possible first-rounders, per Miller. That would stand to make the second round potentially filled with receiver investments. The 49ers have some names in mind.
  • On the subject of the 49ers, they visited with tight end Noah Fant recently, per Sirius XM Radio’s Alex Marvez (on Twitter). This profiles as an interesting use of a visit, with the 49ers closely connected to Nick Bosa at No. 2 and not needing a tight end. But San Francisco did do well with its past Iowa investment at this position, with George Kittle breaking out in a major way in 2018.
  • Despite Rashan Gary‘s past as a top-10 national recruit and his Combine performance, another report has indicated his stock has dipped a bit. After a Thursday report pointed to the Michigan defensive lineman dropping, Miller adds teams are concerned about how little his athleticism translated to production (9.5 sacks in three seasons). Additionally, Miller doubles down on the medical concerns surrounding Gary. Some scouts believe there will be issues on that front, potentially with Gary’s shoulder, which was a trouble spot during his Wolverines run.
  • Ed Oliver‘s stock has risen a bit in the days leading up to the draft, and the Bills are in play for the interior defender at No. 9, Miller writes, adding Buffalo wants to add a bona fide interior pass-rushing presence to complement the space-eating defensive tackles it currently employs.
  • The Raiders ditched their scouting staff going into the draft and are expected to overhaul the department under new GM Mike Mayock. On draft weekend, Oakland’s non-Mayock/Jon Gruden staffers involved in the three-day event will be assistant director of player personnel Trey Scott and director of football administration Tom Delaney, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Delaney has been with the Raiders dating back to the first Gruden era; Scott rose to his current position under Reggie McKenzie‘s watch two years ago.

NFL Draft Rumors: Ravens, Bush, Titans

Here’s a look at the latest NFL Draft buzz as players take their final visits:

  • Michigan linebacker Devin Bush will visit the Ravens on Wednesday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Baltimore holds the No. 22 overall pick, but they may have to trade up if they want to land him. The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year is a surefire first-rounder after putting up 85 tackles, 10 sacks, and 18.5 tackles for loss over the past two years.
  • Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown and Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell will take their last pre-draft visits to the Titans on Wednesday, according to Rapoport (on Twitter). Both players could be on the radar for Tennessee’s No. 19 overall selection.
  • Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver will meet with the Bills, Rapoport hears. They’re far from the only team interested in Oliver, however, and the rival Jets are apparently among the clubs keen on him. The Jets would be reaching if they took Oliver at No. 3 overall, but they’ve been vocal about their desire to trade down. Meanwhile, the Bills could conceivably entertain the Houston product at No. 9 overall.

Draft Notes: Packers, Dillard, White, Fins

Midway through a rather notable offseason, given the recent behind-the-curtain look at their previous power structure, the Packers are investigating some high-end quarterback prospects. They are obviously set at sports’ marquee position, but with Aaron Rodgers set to turn 36 by season’s end, Green Bay is at a similar point compared to when it last made a major quarterback investment. The Packers will host Drew Lock on a visit Tuesday, Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com reports (on Twitter). They also tried to set up a summit with Daniel Jones, but the parties’ schedules did not line up, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds (via Twitter). The Packers took Rodgers when Brett Favre was 36 and sat him for three years. While Green Bay pulling the trigger on a passer would be rather surprising, especially given Rodgers’ contract status, the team does have two first-round picks this year.

Here is the latest from the draft world, staying on the subject of quarterbacks:

  • Lock will also meet with the Chargers, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com (on Twitter). Teams have ramped up their signal-caller-related preparation, in the event Kyler Murray does not go No. 1, according to Robinson, who notes some teams believe this year’s passers could slide a bit should Murray not be the Cardinals’ choice atop the draft. Some modest steam picked up on this notion earlier Monday.
  • The Dolphins, who already met with Jones, will head to the Duke campus to work out the former Blue Devil starter, Rapoport reports (on Twitter). Teams only have a few more days to host prospects on “30” visits but can still work them out after that deadline passes. Miami will also host Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Devin White‘s stock has risen during the pre-draft process, to the point he may be the rare off-ball linebacker to be picked in the top five. One of the teams holding such a selection, the Raiders, brought in White for a visit, Rapoport tweets. The Buccaneers, who hold pick No. 5, have been closely connected to the LSU ‘backer. The Raiders have the No. 4 overall pick. Oakland, which also holds the Nos. 24 and 27 selections, will meet with tight end Noah Fant, on Monday as well, Rapoport tweets. The Raiders lost their starting tight end of the past two seasons, Jared Cook, in free agency.
  • For weeks, the Jets have been viewed as a team that would love to trade down. They are meeting with a prospect Tuesday that would support the fact this is a consideration. Ed Oliver will visit the Jets, per Schefter (on Twitter). While the defensive tackle is a surefire first-round talent, he has not been mocked as a player who would be a consideration at No. 3 overall.
  • The Titans are visiting with defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, per Rapoport (on Twitter). This is the Notre Dame-developed defender’s second known visit, the first having come with the Saints recently. Tillery remains in rehab after surgery to repair a torn shoulder labrum.
  • Not much has surfaced about which teams are researching an Andre Dillard pick. That has changed. The Washington State tackle prospect is visiting the Falcons on Monday and will meet with the Chargers later this week, Schefter tweets. Additionally, Schefter adds the first-round offensive line hopeful has already visited or worked out for a host of teams — the Giants, Jets, Dolphins, Ravens, Titans, Panthers, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Texans, Bengals, Packers, Redskins.

Draft Notes: Steelers, Raiders, Eagles

The Steelers could be eyeing a cornerback with one of their top-two picks. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports (via Twitter) that the team will be hosting a pair defensive back prospects this week: Georgia’s Deandre Baker and Washington’s Byron Murphy.

Along with Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin and LSU’s Greedy Williams, both Baker and Murphy are expected to be taken at some point during the first two rounds. Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award for best collegiate cornerback in 2018 after he compiled 31 tackles, two sacks, nine passes defended, and a pair of interceptions in 12 games. Murphy earned a spot on the first-team All-Pac-12 list after putting up 37 tackles, four picks, and 13 interceptions.

As Fowler points out, this isn’t necessarily an ideal scenario for the Steelers. After all, the organization selected five cornerbacks between the 2015 and 2017 draft. Furthermore, their projected starters (Joe Haden and Steven Nelson) were both acquired via free agency.

Let’s check out some more draft notes from around the NFL…

  • Michigan linebacker Devin Bush is set to visit with the Raiders, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com (via Twitter). The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year is a surefire first-rounder after putting up 85 tackles, 10 sacks, and 18.5 tackles for loss over the past two years. It’s unlikely Bush will be selected with the Raiders’ fourth-overall selection, but they could target him with either the 24th or 27th pick.
  • Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary visited with the Bengals today and will visit the Giants later this week, reports NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). Gary is a consensus top-10 pick, and he could fall right into the Giants lap at No. 6. The Bengals currently have the 11th-overall pick, although we heard that the team could be interested in moving up. The lineman earned first-team All-Big 10 honors the past two seasons, and he finished his junior campaign with 3.5 sacks.
  • The Eagles hosted a pair of prospects today, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Ohio State wideout Parris Campbell both visited Denver. Oliver is generally expected to be selected in the first half of the first round, so it’s unlikely he’ll be around for the Eagles’ 25th-overall pick. On the flip side, Campbell should be readily available, although Philly should also have a chance on him with either of their second-rounders.

NFL Draft Rumors: Metcalf, Bills, Bucs

Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf will take a Top 30 visit with the Bills on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Metcalf, who boasts the most impressive physical tools of any wide receiver in this year’s class, could be an option for Buffalo with the No. 9 overall pick.

Some have knocked Metcalf for his lack of natural catching ability, but he had no trouble reeling in the ball in 2017 when he averaged 16.6 yards per catch and scored seven touchdowns for Ole Miss. There’s also some concern about Metcalf’s health, but he was cleared for all football activities in January following his October neck surgery.

Here’s a look at the latest NFL Draft buzz:

  • Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown will visit the Buccaneers on Monday, a source tells Rapoport (on Twitter). The Bucs could use another wide receiver after losing DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, but it’s not clear whether they’d be willing to use the No. 5 overall pick at that position.
  • Iowa tight end Noah Fant will visit with the Lions on Monday, Rapoport reports. Fant registered 518 receiving yards and a team-high seven touchdowns in his final campaign with the Hawkeyes. The Lions could use a player like Fant after Levine Toilolo, Luke Willson, and Michael Roberts underwhelmed last year. Recently, the Lions strengthened the TE group by adding Jesse James, but there’s still room for improvement.
  • Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker will get together with the Steelers, per RapSheet. Last year, Baker captured the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back. But, at 5’11 and 193 pounds, Baker doesn’t offer ideal size for the position.
  • Washington tackle Kaleb McGary will visit with the Patriots on Monday and the Packers on Tuesday, Rapoport hears. There has been some speculation that McGary could be employed as a guard at the pro level.
  • The Giants are hosting Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, Rapoport hears. The Giants are armed with picks at No. 6 and 17, though one of those selections may be spent on drafting Eli Manning‘s successor.
  • Charlotte guard Nate Davis will take a Top 30 visit with the Bills, Rapoport hears.