The Bills made the NFL’s second-ranked defense in 2018 a little bit stronger with their first round pick according to most NFL analysts.
Here’s what national media have to say about the addition of Ed Oliver to the Buffalo Bills.
Oliver-Phillips combination will be formidable
Stanford head coach/NFL Network draft analyst David Shaw is excited about the combination of Ed Oliver and his former defensive tackle and current Bill Harrison Phillips.
Harrison Phillips from Stanford was drafted a year ago as well, matched now with this speed rusher, the only thing that’s really underrated about this guy [Oliver] is he is almost impossible to cut off on the back side of runs. He’s a great pass-rusher and great penetrator but if you’re running away from him, you can’t cut him off on the back side.
Oliver’s effort is impressive
NFL analyst Bucky Brooks noted Oliver’s effort and quickness. He tweeted this after Oliver became the first Bills pick of the night.
Oliver gives Buffalo versatility along the defensive line
USA Today’s Nate Davis predicts Buffalo will use Oliver at all positions along the defensive line after being used as a nose tackle mostly at Houston.
Really, really good player falls into Buffalo's lap. Oliver is a much different player than recently retired Bills DT Kyle Williams and should constantly shoot gaps to pressure quarterbacks and dump running backs. He was often miscast as a nose tackle in college but could find himself playing anywhere along the line as a pro for a defense that actually ranked second overall in 2018. And look for him to get more time outside given DTs Star Lotulelei and Harrison Phillips don't have that kind of versatility.
Oliver expected to take a huge step forward in the NFL
SB Nation’s Stephen White admires Oliver’s quickness off the ball.
I hardly ever see a nose tackle who consistently has the best get-off on his defensive line, but with Oliver it wasn’t even close on most plays. He’d be off the ball and engaging with the opposing offensive linemen while his teammates were still stuck in their stances.
And not only was he quick off the ball, but his explosion also was readily apparent in how forcefully he took on blockers. When teams made the mistake of trying to block Oliver one-on-one, he was routinely able to rock that blocker back by getting good hand placement inside on their breast plates, getting full extension with his arms, and exploding out of his hips.
Bills get the steal of the draft
RotoExperts Davis Mattek believes the Bills made the steal of the draft by taking a guy who could end up being the best defensive player in the entire draft.
The Bills make what, I think, is the best pick of the draft. Getting Ed Oliver at #9 when he could very well end up being the best defensive player in this entire draft is just a steal. I actually projected the Bills to have to trade up to #5 to make this pick but they save a second-round pick and stayed put to get the extremely athletic Ed Oliver. Watching Ed Oliver is like watching a Tazmanian Devil play nose tackle, all energy and arms chasing after ball carriers.
A dream come true for the Bills
CBS Sports’ Dave Richard believes the Bills will get the pass-rush help they need in Oliver.
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.
The Buffalo Bills selected Houston DT Ed Oliver with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Get to know Oliver by checking out photos from his career. Bills draft coverage is presented by ECMC.