The popular opinion among many that write about the Falcons is they should select Ed Oliver. However, I could not disagree more.
I love that the number one description regurgitated among this crowd is “Ed Oliver has similarities to Aaron Donald”. Great, they both play football, came from non-traditional college football powers, both play defensive line and are both undersized.
That is where the similarities stop. Fact is, no one knows how good or bad Ed Oliver is going to turn out to be and to compare him to Aaron Donald is comical at best. Donald, is projecting to be a first ballot hall of famer and the NFL’s own analysis had him as fourth round pick. Not many saw Aaron Donald becoming Aaron Donald.
I will not dispute that I believe Ed Oliver is talented, really talented. However, the one aspect that I will not overlook, his work ethic or lack thereof. When you are a contender, such as the Falcons are, you cannot afford to take a chance on a guy that has work ethic issues.
The Falcons cannot afford to take a chance on a guy that has had public spats with his college coach. You cannot afford to take a chance on a guy that sat out games in college that the medical staff and coaching staff felt he was fine to play in.
"Oliver missed 4 games in 2018 with a bruised right knee and at one point former Houston coach Major Applewhite said “I’ve had several conversations with Ed and told him, ‘I see both sides, man. You’re playing for a championship and you’ve got guys you love on your team and you want to win a championship. Then you’ve also spent all this time with your family, years upon years, being an NFL superstar, first-round pick. Everybody is involved in it. Not just you, but your family and everybody. And you’ve worked your butt off for it, and now you are four months from it. I see both sides.”"
The guy I compare Ed Oliver to, Quinton Coples, obviously not in size but in expectations and lack of motor and the “under the hood” element.
I have seen where the belief is that Thomas Dimitroff is considering trying to move up in this draft. If that is the case, the only player worth moving up for is Quinnen Williams. Even in the National Championship loss, Williams was a disruptive monster. There are no motor questions about him and he is the type of defensive tackle that would allow Grady Jarrett and Takk McKinley to do unspeakable things to opposing teams.
While I may have gone too far when I declared Ed Oliver fans only want bad things for the Falcons, point remains there are much better and proven options at the defensive tackle spot that the Falcons would be much better off drafting.