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2019 NFL Draft Grades: Buffalo Bills receive near-universal applause for Ed Oliver

Buffalo got a steal. Unless your Andy Benoit.

The Buffalo Bills had one of the best-case scenarios happen last night in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Bills ninth overall pick, Ed Oliver, was thought to be one of the premier players in this class and his name was being put in the conversation for the first defensive tackle taken over Quinnen Williams. Luckily for the Bills, a pair of teams in the first eight picks before them made some questionable decisions and Oliver fell into the Bills lap.

Here’s what the national media is saying about the Bills pick:

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

”I thought he was misused at Houston. I think this kid is going to be special at the next level. He is not Aaron Donald, I don’t like that comparison. He plays a lot like John Randle and Randle was a Hall of Famer. This kid is going to be a good player for Buffalo. GRADE: A”

Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated

Most likely, the Bills saw this as a value pick. And after signing Star Lotulelei for big money in free agency last year, to pair with 2018 third-rounder Harrison Phillips and gifted (though mercurial) ex-Dolphin Jordan Phillips, they didn’t have a glaring need at defensive tackle. But outside, they badly need an edge rusher, as 2016 first-rounder Shaq Lawson is not that guy and Jerry Hughes could be in his last year with the club. That said, you can make room for a dynamic gap penetrator. Oliver relies on quickness and elusiveness within confined areas, which is a unique style of play. But considering his having had an up-and-down 2018 season and Buffalo not badly needing a defensive tackle, overall this is a high-risk, high-reward pick for a team looking to add talent in multiple places.GRADE: C”

Chad Reuter,

“ Buffalo got nice value in the top 10 by eschewing trade offers to take Oliver. He can play inside or outside for the Bills because of his athleticism, putting pressure on quarterbacks and disrupting run plays on a regular basis.”

The Bills are getting a good football player in Ed Oliver, and because of the way the draft fell, there is still a plethora of talent that is going to be available for the Bills when they are on the clock with the 40th overall selection. GRADE: A

Dan Kadar, SB Nation

“The picks of Ferrell and Jones allowed Oliver to drop right into Buffalo’s lap. Oliver can be the Kyle Williams replacement for the Bills, with even more of a pass rush playing three-technique. Even if he’s discount Aaron Donald that is still really, really good. Now the Bills need to focus the rest of their draft surrounding quarterback Josh Allen with talent. GRADE: A