Isaiah Oliver – Cornerback
School: University of Colorado
Weight (listed): 190 pounds
Isaiah Oliver NFL Draft Profile
Isaiah Oliver is a prototypical NFL corner with the potential to turn into a superstar. He’s a three-year starter at the University of Colorado, who made first-team All Pac-12 during his junior year. He racked up 27 tackles, two interceptions and 13 passes defended. He did all this while nursing a leg injury through most of the season.
Oliver comes from a super athletic family, and those genes definitely rubbed off on him. His father, Muhammad, was an All-American track and field athlete in the decathlon at Oregon, while he also played cornerback. Muhammad went on to play in the NFL for five seasons. Oliver’s uncle, Damon Mays, also played in the NFL after playing receiver at Mizzou.
Oliver is a super athlete, as he competed on the Colorado track and field team during his freshman year. He competed in the heptathlon as a sophomore and finished seventh in the Pac-12 in the decathlon as a freshman.
Mr. Fantastic Arms
Oliver’s arms “go on and on for days” and they allow him to have more room for error. His arms allow him to cover guys much bigger than him with ease. They are also what leads Matt Miller and many other scouts to calling him the “best press corner in the draft.” A QB has to have pinpoint accuracy to beat Oliver on a deep ball, because of his long arms and big frame. His arms aren’t just long, they’re trained. His 13 PBU’s plus the two interceptions had him tied for seventh in the nation in 2017 for total passes defended.
Strength And Athleticism
Oliver’s arms aren’t the only reason he’s considered the best press corner in the class. He has incredible strength that he throws into receiver’s chests on every play. Oliver is excellent when it comes to fighting through screens and making tackles in open space.
One of his best attributes is his deep speed and makeup speed. Oliver has a margin of error that is much higher than most corners because of not only his arm length but his pure athleticism. His speed allows him to give up an extra step or two and he still has the ability to get back and make a play on the ball.
Full Tilt, Full Time
Yes, this is an awesome thing for most players, but for a cornerback, running in a sprint for an entire route leads to getting beat. NFL offenses and QBs will pick up on that very quickly because Oliver is incredibly vulnerable on comeback routes. He doesn’t drop low enough in his backpedal since he relies on his track speed. This could leave him prone to being thrown off balance by some of the better route runners in the league. He takes too many steps when trying to mirror a receiver, especially playing off coverage.
There is a lot to love in Oliver’s game, but he is still developing it. While he is great at the bottom of the route, he allows a ton of separation from the top. His off coverage was briefly mentioned due to his footwork, but he has trouble in off coverage compared to press. Sharp routes are a big point of weakness for Oliver, as he has trouble planting a foot in the ground and changing direction. He needs to improve in the run support game as well, and he needs to play with more downhill aggressiveness
Oliver is an excellent corner prospect, who should be taken at the end of Round 1 or beginning of Round 2. He would work best with a team that loves to jam off the line and plays a lot of man coverage. He has number one corner potential and should be a great asset for whoever picks him up.
NFL Player Comparison
Teams With Need At Cornerback
New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans
Kansas City Chiefs