Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver is very good. He’s so good that it took him just one spring practice to decide he’s declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Yes, Oliver has already declared for *next year’s* draft 13+ months ahead of time, before the 2018 draft has even happened, and before he’s played a snap in his junior season.
Houston’s Ed Oliver has declared for the NFL Draft. The 2019 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/OW7ISNfdiR
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) March 6, 2018
— #HTownTakeover (@UHCougarFB) March 6, 2018
This may seem a bit crazy and perhaps comes across as a case of overconfidence, but again, Oliver is really, really good.
Oliver — listed at 6-foot-3, 290 pounds — just won the Outland Trophy (nation’s best interior lineman) as a sophomore and was a consensus All-American. Athlon Sports recently named him the No. 1 player for the 2018 college football season. Bovada gives him the highest Heisman odds for a defensive player in the 2018 season. Way-too-early 2019 mock drafts have Oliver going top-three.
So, you’d probably be pretty confident about your NFL chances if you were this guy too, and he’s already been the best at his position as a sophomore. There isn’t much left for him to prove at the college level, and — assuming he dominates again as a junior — really all he could do by playing his senior season is risk hurting his stock.
Still, it’s rare to see a player declare for the draft this early.