Green Bay Packers should draft Houston’s Ed Oliver

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 04: Ed Oliver #10 of the Houston Cougars celebrates after a tackle in the first half against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at TDECU Stadium on October 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 04: Ed Oliver #10 of the Houston Cougars celebrates after a tackle in the first half against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at TDECU Stadium on October 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

On draft night, the Green Bay Packers will be selecting 12th overall and if Houston’s Ed Oliver is available, they shouldn’t hesitate to select him.

The Green Bay Packers are looking to build up their defense in this year’s NFL Draft. They have some bigger needs on their defense, but that should not make them shy away from drafting a blue-chip prospect at any position.

Ed Oliver would certainly fit the bill of a blue-chip player. If he is in fact available when the Green Bay Packers are on the clock they need to give him serious consideration.

On the surface, that might sound a little far-fetched. The Packers defensive line is more than stout with the presence of standouts like Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark. Then behind those two, they have Dean Lowry who has proven to be a solid rotational player. As well as Montravius Adams and Tyler Lancaster both of which played well down the stretch at the end of last season.

Also, Muhammad Wilkerson is someone the Packers have been in contact with for what is likely another 1-year contract.

With all of those things in mind, why would the Packers consider a player at a position that is already likely to be a strength on their roster?

The answer can be found in the 2008 NFL Draft class.

The Packers already had one of the best wide receiver corps in all of football and they still took Jordy Nelson in the early second round.

At the time the pick was met with questions. Eventually, Nelson became one of the best players in the history of this storied franchise.

What the Green Bay Packers did at the time was identify who they felt was the best player available on their board, and built on what was already a strength on their roster.

Ed Oliver could represent a similar type of value for them.

A year ago at this time, Oliver was the odds-on favorite to be the top overall selection for this year’s draft.

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Usually when that happens, a player gets picked apart and falls down the board farther than he should. Oliver is no exception. While it’s unclear where he will get drafted, he is not in consideration for the top overall pick.

Oliver would immediately give the Packers a blue-chip prospect to plug-in next to Kenny Clark. He is fast at the point of attack and able to beat blockers with his speed on the interior.

With the emphasis on the quick passing game in the modern NFL, interior pressure has become just as important as pressure from outside pass rushers.

The two teams that just played in the Super Bowl had players that were lethal rushing from the inside. Aaron Donald is the best interior rusher in football and Trey Flowers was a chess piece the Patriots used but was more effective when he was kicked inside.

The Green Bay Packers have a good group of players on the interior, but the only game changer at this stage of his career is Kenny Clark.

Putting a blue-chip prospect like Oliver next to a very good player in Mike Daniels and the aforementioned Clark would take the Packers to a different level.

Instead of having a good defensive line, they would vault themselves into the discussion of having the best defensive line in football.

Instead of having the least effective player in their defensive line room as Tyler Lancaster, it would be Montravius Adams or Wilkerson if they choose to bring him back.

That’s a very good situation to be in.

In addition, a first round pick is for the future, not just the first year. Mike Daniels is a free agent following the 2019 season and isn’t guaranteed to be back in 2020. If that were the case, Oliver could slide in immediately as the second primary defensive lineman if Daniels is not retained.

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However, If the Packers do keep Daniels, they would have the opportunity to keep those three men together for the foreseeable future. and that’s a situation that the Packers should certainly be looking into. In fact, if Oliver is available when the Packers are on the clock, they should be prepared to answer a lot of questions should they pass on him.