Re-Evaluating Bills’ Selection of Ed Oliver After Arrest

Ed Oliver, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Ed Oliver, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Ed Oliver was recently charged with DWI and unlawfully carrying a weapon. With so much invested in their 2019 first-round pick, the Buffalo Bills need to monitor his off-the-field activity going forward.

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver was recently arrested for two Class B misdemeanors. The most notable was a DWI charge, as he admitted to drinking and taking Adderall before driving. Also, he was charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, as deputies found a small-caliber pistol in the vehicle.

No matter who the player is or what type of franchise he plays for, nobody wants to see this happen to their team. It’s even more troubling, however, when this is a player that the Buffalo Bills invested in with the ninth overall pick.

Oliver didn’t necessarily light it up in his rookie season last year but did show some promise. He has some solid production to show for it. In just seven starts, the defensive lineman had 43 combined tackles and five sacks. Some fans expected more from him in his rookie season. Oliver showed enough, however, to prove that he has the talent and potential to live up to his high draft selection.

The reason this news of his arrest is concerning, however, is because it shows a lack of sound judgment. If a top-end draft pick like this is going to have off-the-field issues, he better perform like the best. The situation would be looked at differently if he put up Nick Bosa‘s Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign. It’s not fair, but he’d get an extra pass.

So are the charges against him enough to where Bills Mafia should realistically question Ed Oliver’s early selection? It’s complicated.

As of right now, they absolutely shouldn’t give up on the young defensive tackle with the potential he displayed on the field last year, mainly due to the high value that snagging him with the ninth pick was. Before his senior year, Oliver was the clear-cut favorite to be the first defensive lineman picked in the draft.

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Head Coach Sean McDermott is spearheading a culture change in Buffalo. Many experts have the Bills as favorites to win the AFC East Division in 2020. Off-field nuisances have to be left at the door.

This team must remain focused on the season ahead. So far, Oliver hasn’t shown signs committing himself to the off-field discipline this mission requires. The Bills have to monitor Oliver’s behavior off the field and make sure that these issues don’t come up again.

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To make the relationship work with Oliver as part of the picture, the Bills need to make it clear to him that his recent actions are unacceptable. After all, they will lean on him much more in his sophomore season, now that fellow defensive tackle Jordan Phillips left for Arizona this offseason.