NASHVILLE, TN (WROC) — Sometimes the draft falls perfectly into place.
The Bills entered the night with a Kyle Williams-sized hole on the defensive line. With the ninth pick in the first round, they addressed that hole with a player who could be a defensive wrecking ball.
Ed Oliver is one of the top defensive line prospects in the draft with excellent range and quickness.
The Bills met Oliver during his pro day at the University of Houston pro-day last month. He made a big impression on his new head coach.”
“You could feel him. You could feel his presence, his energy,” Sean McDermott said. “And the closer you got, the more you felt the quickness, the more you felt the power, the more you felt the juice.
McDermott also raved about Oliver’s competitve nature.
“He wants it. That hunger is a critical piece that we look for.”
Oliver was ecstatic when he was picked. When he headed on stage for pictures with Roger Goodell when he was picked, Oliver grabbed a Bills hat let out a giant yell.
His father and brother were in tears being interviewed by the ABC broadcast team. The Oliver family was just as excited to join Billsmafia as Bills fans were to have him.
“Just getting a chance to play in front of the best fans in the NFL, BillsMafia,” Oliver said of what he’s looking forward to. “It’s a chance to compete, play against good players and be a part of something that’s way bigger than myself.”
Oliver played mostly nose tackle at Houston. However, Beane and McDermott said the Bills plan to slide him over to tackle more in the NFL and play what’s call a 3-technique.
That’s Kyle Williams’ old position.
“What Kyle Williams was able to accomplish over his career is extraordinary,” Oliver said. “If I can do half of what he did, I’ll be satisfied.”
“No one is ever going to replace Kyle Williams,” McDermott said, trying to manage expectations. “He’s a good player that plays hard, brings his lunchpail. He’s a guy that fits the way we play on the field.”
“He’s a competitor. He’s tough. He plays from the snap to the echo of the whistle,” Beane added “He fits Buffalo, how we do things.”
Oliver does have a few question marks. His arm length isn’t off the charts, and he dealt with a knee issue last season at Houston.
Oliver said, in a conference call, that the knee is feeling great. The Bills aren’t concerned about his arm length.
“The thing about [Ed Oliver] is how quick he is at the line of scrimmage,” McDermott said. “We are excited to see him in our system.”
Before the draft, there were hot rumors Buffalo was considering a trade with the Jets that would ascend the Bills to pick three.
Beane said those reports were exaggerated at best. He added that, during the week, he realized the Bills were in a good spot at number nine.
And things could not have worked out much better.