NFLDraftScout.com analyst Corbin Smith kicks off his video breakdown series with an in-depth look at the early favorite to be No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
That would be Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who last season became the first sophomore to win the venerable Outland Trophy, given to the nation's top interior lineman.
Smith rates Oliver's strengths as:
--Unrivaled burst off the snap
--Lateral quickness to split gaps with ease
--Plays with relentless motor
--Disruptive as interior rusher with bull rushes and variety of counter moves
Smith, making a projection to the next level, says Oliver will cause problems against the run because of his athleticism and power. OIiver is a bit undersized, which could be problematic if teams are looking at him as a nose tackle, but he'll fit nicely as a 4-3 defensive tackle or an end in a 3-4 scheme.
Smith's pro comp for Oliver is to Los Angeles Rams' all-star defensive lineman Aaron Donald.
"Like Donald," Smith says, "Oliver will enter the league undersized but his elite athleticism is going to continue to dominate against the run at the next level. If he makes strides as a pass rusher, he's going to look like a clone of the Rams' $135 million man."