New York Giants Could Snag Top Interior Defensive Lineman With 1st Round Pick

The New York Giants could go after Ed Oliver in the 2019 NFL draft.

The New York Giants will have an opportunity to grab a top option with the No. 6 pick, and there’s one player that I have in mind that could make a significant impact on the defense.

Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver is the prospect with the ability to slip to No. 17, but why? Some have Oliver mocked in the first 10 picks of the draft while others have him falling to the middle of the round. An altercation with coaches during a game in 2018 put his character in question, but it seemed to be more fueled by his desire to play and compete.

Oliver is a top defensive tackle in the upcoming draft, behind Alabama star Quinnen Williams. The Houston product enjoyed a stock-raising Pro Day, running a 4.71 40-yard dash at 287-pounds. That’s absurd for a player of that size.

As a prospect trying to prove his worth, Oliver offers elite athleticism and speed coming from the interior. His ability to push the offensive line and act as a pass-rusher while dominating in the run game offers the Giants more value than a pass-rusher…why? Because the Giants’ defense is built around the 3-4 concept, where three down lineman are used to take up space as the linebackers fill in the gaps and rush the passer.

Oliver is the perfect fit for a defense of this nature, and he would be a fantastic selection if available at No. 17. The chances seem unlikely that he will drop this far, which could indicate a higher selection – he would be a solid pick at 6 as well.

His cons:

Despite his observed athleticism, Oliver has various flaws that will need to be addressed at the next level. His inability to fight through double teams and maul his way to the quarterback will pose issues. He was reported at playing under 280-pounds last season, which will not be ideal at the NFL level given the size differences. Oliver favors his speed and initial burst to beat an offensive lineman, but his moves inside are rather predictable. Additionally, he lacks the length that most coaches desire in a defensive tackle.

While these cons certainly raise a few red flags, there are ways to develop beyond them and methods to masking these deficiencies.