Speaking of a prospect that demands attention, look no further than Ed Oliver from the University of Houston. Entering the season as a top-three prospect, Oliver finds his stock in a bit of a free fall for reasons that can be easily laughed off. While the “jacketgate” fiasco with former Houston head coach Major Applewhite can easily be shrugged off, teams are also concerned that Oliver may be too small to compete in the trenches at the next level.
Listed at 275 pounds, teams will want to see him around the 285-290 range as a defensive line prospect. Again, this seems like a classic example of overthinking an elite prospect, but here we are, with Oliver needing to prove himself to NFL draft scouts.
NFL draft scout and Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller suggested on his podcast Stick to Football that Oliver could bulk up for the Combine to prove that he has put on the weight and not test while he is heavy. Then by his pro day, after he has weighed in at the Combine, shed all of the excess weight back off and show his elite potential in a controlled environment.
It will be interesting to see what Oliver chooses to do and not do at the Combine this weekend, but if the Bucs stay at the fifth overall pick and he is still on the board, Jason Licht must seriously consider taking him. Keep an eye on the former Houston Cougar this week in Indianapolis.