Not since longtime Green Bay Packers standout (and current NFL Network analyst) James Jones was plucking passes for the Spartans has a pass-catcher from San Jose State earned as much attention as Oliver, who actually began his college career as an edge rusher.
It didn't take the San Jose State coaching staff long to turn to Oliver after injuries depleted their tight ends in 2015. He started four games at the position as a true freshman. Nothing about his four-catch (for 36 yards and one score) debut season would suggest that he would ultimately leave SJSU as one of the more celebrated tight end prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Oliver actually dropped to just three receptions as a sophomore before emerging as the focal point of the Spartans' offense the next two seasons, jumping to 35 receptions as a junior and a team-high 56 catches for 709 yards and four scores to earn first-team All-Mountain West honors as a senior, earning trips to the Senior Bowl and Combine.
True diamond in the rough candidate who might be viewed as a consensus top 64 candidate had he played at a more prominent program. Was the featured target at SJSU in 2018 and opponents knew it, with Oliver often drawing a crowd. Fluid acceleration for a big man with soft hands, body control and good size to attack all levels of the field. Asked to run a variety of routes, showing balance, burst and impressive straight-line speed (4.63 40-yard dash). Proved he belonged versus top talent in Mobile and Indianapolis.
That said, sleepers should dominate at the lower level and Oliver never did that, catching a total of seven touchdowns in four seasons at SJSU, including four in his "breakout" senior season. Too important to the Spartans' offense as a receiver to develop much as a blocker and to gain strength, grit and technique in this area. High ceiling but low floor prospect due to level of competition concerns.
Projection: Third Round
--Field Level Media
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