Bills’ Ed Oliver explains his “baptism into NFL football”
In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected Ed Oliver with the ninth pick. Oliver hasn’t been named a starter just yet; coach Sean McDermott wants him to earn it.
After a practice this week, Ed Oliver explained how he received his “baptism into NFL football.” The Bills ran a goal-line drill in practice and Oliver was in with all three units.
“Lord have mercy,” he said after practice. “I think I got every rep of goal line. Kind of my baptism into NFL football. I just had to take it.”
Throughout the draft process, Oliver was regarded as one of the best interior defenders in the draft. Oliver was receiving comparisons to Aaron Donald, the NFL’s two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Yet, Oliver knows just how dominant Donald is in the interior. Oliver said he watched every snap of Donald’s from 2019 and said:
“I couldn’t touch Aaron Donald with a 10-foot pole right now.”
The rookie defensive tackle realizes there’s going to be a process for him to become one of the most disruptive interior defenders in the NFL. Having him get a ton of reps in practice is part of that process.
Earlier this offseason, Kyle Williams retired after spending 13 seasons with the Bills. Over his career, Williams was known as a run-stopper, but he could still get to the quarterback as well. Williams had 10.5 sacks once in 2013.
Currently, Star Lotulelei and Jordan Phillips are listed as the starters for the Bills. Don’t be surprised when Oliver is one of the starting defensive tackles in Week 1 against the New York Jets.