The Atlanta Falcons might still be considering the available pool of free agents, but that doesn’t stop them from moving some of their focus to late April.
The 2019 NFL Draft will be here sooner than you know it, and we’ve got word of a major visit set to take place at Flowery Branch.
Houston DL Ed Oliver does have a visit lined up with the Falcons, I’m told.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 14, 2019
Ed Oliver is the dream for many Falcons fans, one of the best interior defensive lineman in a draft class full of them. He was a terror at Houston, and only has his size to push against. As many folks have learned in the past, you should never underestimate a talent like Oliver now matter how big he is (see Aaron Donald, Grady Jarrett).
One of our great draft gurus, Kevin Knight, compiled a scouting report for Oliver and came to some quite encouraging conclusions. It’s very much worth a full read.
Ed Oliver is an elite DT prospect at the NFL level. He’s an ideal fit at 3T in a 4-3 defense, though he’s got the potential to be moved around—particularly in a scheme like the Falcons use. His movement skills, deep understanding of leverage, and impressive strength make him a 3-down player that can excel against both the run and pass—despite concerns about him being “undersized”.
The Falcons will probably have to move up in the draft to get Oliver if they want him, though there will probably be teams looking to move down and acquire more picks in this deep class.
Watch for Jacksonville as a team that may want to move down and would be willing to talk with Atlanta; Jags GM Dave Caldwell worked in Atlanta with Thomas Dimitroff before heading down to Florida.
If he falls to 14, he very well could be a steal for a team that could really afford to catch that kind of a break. Either way, he’s going to be a fan favorite target going into April and would be an excellent addition to the Falcons defensive line.
Cross your fingers, everyone, and let’s hope Oliver sports a red and black jersey here very soon.