Report: Jets 'Infatuated' With Defensive Tackle Ed Oliver Ahead Of NFL Draft

April 22, 2019 - 3:02 pm
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By WFAN.com

The Jets could decide to trade back from the No. 3 pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft, but if they don’t, they’ll have quite a few talented players available for them at the front of the first round.

It’s no secret that Mike Maccagnan, Adam Gase and company are interested in drafting a defensive weapon who can pressure the quarterback. This year, quite a few highly-ranked players fit that profile.

New York could end up with Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams or Josh Allen, but there is now a bit of buzz linking the team to University of Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver.

One report from Manish Mehta of the Daily News quotes a Jets source as saying that Oliver is “an alien." That report also claims that people in the Jets building are “infatuated” with “Oliver’s otherworldly skills.”

Oliver typically plays as an interior lineman, but his game isn’t just plugging holes to stop the running game. At Houston, Oliver demonstrated an ability to move quickly to break through offensive lines and get to opposing quarterbacks. The 21-year-old’s smaller size for a nose tackle allows him to play with athleticism and speed, but his strength still allowed him to handle larger offensive linemen in the college game.

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Ed Oliver
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In eight games as a junior in 2018, Oliver had three sacks and 54 tackles. His sophomore year was his most productive, as he managed five and a half sacks and 73 tackles in 12 games. 

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah has the Jets taking Oliver in his latest mock draft. Jeremiah thinks that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams could want to work with Oliver following his time coaching Aaron Donald, a player who Oliver has drawn comparisons to.

Despite all that, New York may find it too hard to pass on Quinnen Williams if he is available at No. 3. Williams is ranked above Oliver on most draft boards, and it is still unclear what the Arizona Cardinals plan to do at the top of the draft.

Even if certain people in the building are high on Oliver, the final decision is still Maccagnan's. It will ultimately be his choice who the Jets take with the third pick, or if they will even use that pick. Trading down remains a viable option ahead of Thurday.