Ed Oliver – DT (Houston)
Oliver is simply one of the best players in this entire Draft class. The guy is an athletic freak who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs right around 290 pounds.
He was a dominating force on Houston’s defensive line, racking up 122 tackles (53 tackles for a loss) and 13.5 sacks in his career as a Cougar. He was a standout on a team that wasn’t exactly known for their defensive prowess.
Oliver has violent hands, which he uses to fend off would-be blockers. He has great lateral quickness and he can sniff through the traffic to find the ball carrier so that he can absolutely destroy them. He is extremely powerful and he routinely pushes his man into the backfield, disrupting opponents plays.
Simply put, Oliver is unblockable at times.
So how could this dominating player possibly be available at pick No. 18 for the Vikings in 2019? The answer to that is because of some of his character issues.
He suffered a knee injury last season, which caused him to miss four games. In one of those games, he was on the sideline wearing a sweatshirt that was supposed to be for active players. Houston head coach Major Applewhite told him to take it off, but he refused and the two got into an uncomfortable shouting match on the sidelines.
Oliver did apologize after the game for his actions, but this is the kind of poor attitude and immaturity that will scare some teams off.
He would be an ideal fit for Minnesota next season. With Sheldon Richardson likely leaving in free agency, the Vikings will be in the market for a penetrating disruptive force next to Linval Joseph.
Oliver would the trifecta for the Vikings. He’d be a major steal, fill a big-time need, and be the best player available at pick No. 18.