2019 NFL Draft Grades: Bills get an A after Ed Oliver falls into their laps at No. 9 overall

With the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Bills selected Ed Oliver, defensive lineman out of Houston. Played over the center in college and regularly dominated, but will move to 3-technique in the NFL where he have more opportunities to shoot gaps. Low center of gravity, nonstop motor, unparalleled get-off and the leverage to regularly win at the line of scrimmage.

Draft tracker: Get grades for every pick

Bills: A

Pete Prisco: I thought he was misused at Houston. I think this kid is going to be special at the next level. He is not Aaron Donald, I don't like that comparison. He plays a lot like John Randle and Randle was a Hall of Famer. This kid is going to be a good player for Buffalo.

Looking for your daily fix of NFL news and analysis? Look no further than the Pick Six Podcast. CBS Sports senior writer Will Brinson (and guests) gets you up to speed each day in about 30 minutes with what's trending in the NFL world so that you're always in the know.  Go subscribe right now!

Fantasy impact

Dave Richard: Ed Oliver is a dream come true for the Bills. He's a terrific three-tech D-lineman who makes an already good and underrated defense better. Buffalo needed some pass rush help and Oliver was their best remaining choice for sure. Is he good enough to push the Bills DST into Fantasy consideration? They play the Jets in Week 1, a matchup they can win with a couple of turnovers. I am not sold on the Jets offensive line being stout. Thus, the Bills DST is worth a final-round pick as an early-season DST choice. Oliver makes the cut as a late-round IDP pick.

NFL comparison: John Randle

Chris Trapasso: Going with a throwback for Oliver despite his presence as a "new-age" one-gapper at the three technique position, charging through the outside shoulder of either guard. That's, at least, where I'd play him essentially all the time, despite varying suggestions as to all the types of roles he could assume -- and thrive in -- at the next level. The same was true for Randle. Kind of. With him though, as an undrafted free agent from Texas A&M-Kingsville, coaches initially didn't know where to play him. The two are almost identically sized, and once Randle was given free rein to attack inside at defensive tackle, he dominated for nearly a decade. Like Randle did, Oliver plays with otherworldly explosiveness and aggression. His quickness and loose hips translate to ridiculously low-center-of-gravity power. 

College career

Ryan Wilson: A five-star recruit coming out of high school, Oliver, who grew up in Houston, stayed in his hometown to play collegiately. He played in 12 games as a true freshman and had five sacks and 22 tackles for loss. As a sophomore, he had 5.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. In 2018, Oliver was limited to eight games because of a knee injury. He still logged three sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. 

Among all FBS defensive linemen, Oliver ranked 18th in Pro Football Focus' pass rush productivity metric and he was 19th in run stop percentage.

Strengths

Ryan Wilson: Oliver played over the center in college and regularly dominated, but will move to a 3-technique role in the NFL where he have more opportunities to shoot gaps. He has a low center of gravity, nonstop motor, unparalleled get-off and the leverage to regularly win at the line of scrimmage, Oliver is a top-5 talent.

Good luck stopping this:

Or this: 

Note that Oliver (No. 10) starts over the center and ends up at the sidelines ready to light up the running back had he caught the pass:

Weaknesses

Ryan Wilson: Size is a concern but only if you expect to play Oliver over the center for 50-60 plays a game.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories