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Bills’ Ed Oliver has ‘a long way to go’ in his development

Ed Oliver

Ed Oliver had his fair share of detractors throughout the pre-draft process.

As more and more NFL analysts dove into the University of Houston star’s film, from the the time he stepped on campus as a freshman superstar, it became readily apparent that Oliver was winning far more with quickness, power, and overall athleticism than high-level technique. While he certainly possessed the ability necessary to develop the nuanced moves it takes to thrive at the next level, the expectation was that it would be awhile before he was able to fully grasp them.

As the Buffalo Bills and their first-round pick open training camp, nothing has changed in that regard. Asked about Oliver’s status on Friday, Bills coach Sean McDermott made it clear that his team’s prized rookie has “got a long way to go,” making him no different from the vast majority of first-year players in the NFL.

“He’s a rookie, you know, and this is his real first day of practice, like real practice,” McDermott said, per Jay Skurski of Buffalo News Blitz. “It’s a journey, so it’ll take some time. He’ll have to go through, really, everything that the rookies go through in terms of getting themselves acclimated to the NFL. There’s a gap between major college football and the NFL, so he’s got a long way to go right now.”

Oliver lined up with Buffalo’s second-team defense during the first practice of training camp, a likely formality owed to his youth and inexperience. One of the most decorated players in the 2019 draft class, he was a three-time All-American at Houston, winning the Outland Trophy in 2017 as the nation’s top interior lineman.