Oliver is expected to start at cornerback opposite Desmond Trufant in 2019, Jason Butt of The Athletic reports.
Oliver played only 24.6 percent of defensive snaps across 14 games in his rookie season, during which he notched 23 tackles, seven pass deflections and one interception. The No. 58 overall selection of the 2018 NFL Draft, Oliver flashed enough in a limited role in 2018 to inspire confidence in the Falcons' coaching staff that he'll thrive as a weekly starter. Oliver projects to receive every opportunity to improve Atlanta's secondary, which ranked sixth-worst against the pass last season.
The former Colorado Buff was less of a factor than many anticipated when Atlanta invested a second-round selection in him, fielding 43.8 percent of the special teams snaps and just 24.6 percent of the defensive snaps for a unit that ranked sixth-worst against the pass. Perhaps his most memorable moment came in Week 4 when Bengals receiver A.J. Green slipped behind him for a 13-yard touchdown reception within the final 10 seconds of regulation. Other than that, Oliver showed considerable promise in limited duty, recording a game-clinching interception of Panthers backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke in Week 16 and earning an overall performance grade of 70.0, according to Pro Football Focus. If Atlanta elects to let Brian Poole walk when his contract expires this offseason, Oliver will inherit a more integral role for the Falcons secondary in 2019.
Oliver racked up four combined tackles during Sunday's 38-14 win against the Redskins.
Oliver was exposed in the red zone by veteran quarterback Alex Smith, who completed a fade in the front left corner of the end zone to Josh Doctson shortly before the halftime whistle, providing Washington with its initial points of the afternoon. The rookie cornerback surrendered another long completion to Doctson in the third quarter (24-yard pass), but the play was walked back 15 yards following a taunting penalty. If Robert Alford (ankle) is once again unable to suit up in Week 10, Oliver will log his third career start against Cleveland's No. 23 passing attack (222.9 yards per game).
Oliver will start in place of Robert Alford (ankle) in Sunday's game at Washington, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Alford was ruled out for Sunday -- breaking a string of 46 straight starts -- providing Oliver the opportunity for the second start of his career. The Redskins will be without running back Chris Thompson (ribs) and wide receiver Jamison Crowder (ankle), which could create an increased reliance on Adrian Peterson and the run game.
Oliver will make his first start since Week 4 if Alford is unable to suit up Sunday (though head coach Dan Quinn was unwilling to rule him following Thursday's practice). In that Week 4 shootout against Cincinnati, Oliver let his man A.J. Green slip past him for a last-second touchdown reception as the Bengals pulled out a 37-36 victory. Sunday's opponent, Washington isn't the most pass-heavy bunch (22nd in pass attempts with 32.6 per game), but veteran signal caller Alex Smith may put the ball up a couple more times to try and expose the inexperienced defensive back in coverage.