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Buccaneers Draft Profile: DT Ed Oliver

Exploding off the line and into your city, Ed Oliver could look real good in Pewter and Red.

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NCAA Football: Tulane at Houston Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers are still seemingly working through some things cap wise which continues to leave Gerald McCoy’s future with the team in the air. Toss in the fact that Bruce Arians has been completely noncommittal to the teams longest tenured player and you have a recipe for some disruption roster wise along the defensive line.

Whether Gerald McCoy is here this season and beyond or not the team must continue to address the defensive line, in particular the interior, with McCoy in his 30’s. What this could and should mean is another infusion of young talent via the draft just as they did with Vita Vea a year ago.

After spending a top pick on the interior line in 2018, if Tampa Bay chooses to again address the position it will most likely need to be early again in the draft to gain an immediate impact player. Enter Ed Oliver, defensive tackle for Houston.

Ed Oliver’s Career

Ed Oliver started out at the top and is now exiting college the same way he entered it. The former 5 Star recruit did not disappoint his hometown team despite battling some injuries. In his freshman and sophomore seasons, Oliver combined for 10.5 sacks and 38.5 tackles for a loss. Limited in his junior year due to a knee injury, Oliver played in 8 games and totaled 3 sacks to go along with 14.5 tackles for a loss.

Oliver was a prolific run stopper for Houston and there’s reason to believe he can be an even more dangerous pass rusher if put in the right positions. As Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo wrote, “ the Houston scheme held back Ed Oliver’s pass-rush production”.

Oliver was first-team All-American and all-conference honors as a true freshman and followed up his sophomore year winning the Outland Trophy and was a finalist for the Nagurski Award. Oliver was second-team All-AAC honors and third-team All-American via the Associated Press.


Oliver’s best attribute is his elite athleticism at his size. Incredibly fluid moving and changing direction with explosive get off on the snap. Oliver plays with great leverage and diagnoses plays incredibly well. Displayed a good counter move and understanding of how to follow up a stifled initial move. Bends incredibly well for his size and uses his hands well to knock lineman off their spot.


Size will come up a lot with Ed Oliver as he played at a reported weight south of 280 lbs. Oliver struggled when double teamed and was a bit susceptible to missing would be ball carriers when the play was run right at him. Oliver showed a tendency to let off bull rushes a tad early versus pass protection. Over aggressive at times causing him to get out of position.

Why The Buccaneers Need Him

Gerald McCoy is the teams top interior pass rusher and he is getting old and expensive quick. Ed Oliver would be a very good, young replacement who is built to rush the passer from inside. Oliver would be a great tool inside Todd Bowles scheme change that is overtaking Tampa Bay. The up the field attack could use the explosiveness of a player like Ed Oliver.

Gerald McCoy replacement aside, Oliver would be a great addition regardless as the team lacks depth along the interior line despite last years addition of Vita Vea. Strong teams are built well up front and Tampa Bay could absolutely use another shot of adrenaline off the line.

Will It Happen?

The possibility of this happening is very real. The Buccaneers would benefit greatly from a trade back and if one were to happen, say to the 8-15 range then Ed Oliver is a great selection. Some analyst may put him inside the Top 5 overall picks regardless. There is a potential need at tackle, especially if McCoy is gone. Ed Oliver could very well be the newest Buccaneer come draft night.