Culture / Sporting Life

Music Megastar Gives Ed Oliver Major Love — Best Player in NFL Draft Went No. 9 and the Rest of America is Catching On

Houston's Own is Already Winning Hearts in More Than Buffalo

BY // 04.27.19

Ed Oliver could easily turn out to be the best player in the entire 2019 NFL Draft. Arguably already the greatest player in the University of Houston’s football history (with apologies to the college great Andre Ware), Oliver finds himself the darling of the draft.

Everyone from Good Morning Football host Peter Schrager to ESPN’s Mina Kimes are fawning over the Buffalo Bills getting Oliver with the ninth overall pick. But football types aren’t the only ones smitten with the defensive game changer with the freakish combination of 4.73 40-yard dash speed and a 36-inch vertical leap.

A music megastar is all in on Ed Oliver, too.

No, not Taylor Swift, whose presence at the NFL Draft made about as much sense as the Giants taking Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick. Country music superstar (and American Idol judge) Luke Bryan is a huge believer in the former UH star who could have easily made an impact in professional football after his freshman season if only NFL rules let him.

“I thought the (Atlanta) Falcons might trade up for Oliver,” Bryan laments on ABC’s broadcast.

And that’s just the first of several times that the country star name drops Oliver in his national TV time. It turns out that Bryan’s dad is a huge Falcons fan, who also wanted Atlanta to pick the disruptive, Houston-proud force.

“I would imagine he would have been after Ed Oliver,” Bryan says of his father. “Just watching him at Houston, he looked like he had a special deal.”

Oliver went to Buffalo for the customary first round draft pick feting and introductory press conference on Friday. And he’s saying all the things Bills fans are dying to hear.

“I’m just so excited to be here,” Oliver tells the cameras. “It’s everything that I thought it was going to be, plus more.”

Buffalo is a long way from Houston (1,486 miles to be exact), the only city that Oliver really has ever known. Born in H-Town, Oliver played high school and college football in the city too. His bond with the city is deeper than deep. He even had “Be Someone” — in homage to the famous Houston bridge bearing the phrase — embroidered into his NFL Draft night suit jacket.

“This here is for the greatest place on earth. Houston MF Texas,” Oliver captioned the Instagram post that showed off his truly designer H-Town threads.

But Oliver is more than ready to move onto the NFL. In truth, he probably was ready to leave as soon as Tom Herman bolted for the University of Texas. Now, he finally gets the chance to show what he can do against the best football players on the planet.

Ed Oliver already seems to be on his way to being a beloved figure in Buffalo. The fact that silly jacket dustup with his second college head coach, Major Applewhite — a controversy largely needlessly created by Applewhite — did not seem to hurt Oliver too much in the draft is refreshing. And just.

Still, several teams — especially the Raiders and Lions, whose drafting of a tight end that reminds no one of Rob Gronkowski right before Oliver went could be the eventual death knell of Matt Patricia’s Detroit tenure — are likely to be wondering what they could have been thinking by midseason next fall.

Ed Oliver is that good, that impactful. Just ask the country music megastar with the surprisingly good football takes.

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