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Josh Oliver 2019 NFL Draft Profile

With comparisons to Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron, many teams have their eyes on Josh Oliver, even though he needs work to realize his full potential.
Josh Oliver

Position: Tight end
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 249 pounds
School: San Jose State Spartans

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.63 seconds (third-best among tight ends)
Bench press: 22 reps (tied for second-best among tight ends)
Vertical jump: 34.0 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 9 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.21 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.47 seconds
60-yard shuttle: 12.01 seconds

Josh Oliver 2019 NFL Draft Profile

California native and San Jose State alum Josh Oliver is regarded by some as a sleeper pick that could sneak onto a second-round team’s draft board, and regarded as some as an overrated prospect that would be a risk to draft. In four years at SJSU, Oliver only amassed 38 receptions and seven touchdowns in limited action, playing only 30 games. For comparison, Caleb Wilson received 114 catches in 24 games at UCLA, but only picked up five scores. Still, Oliver is larger and more skilled of a receiver than many other tight ends. He did enough to merit an invitation to the Senior Bowl where he gained a slew of fans.

Originally recruited as an edge linebacker, Oliver’s size and versatility could prove useful for certain NFL teams, but his lack of experience as a pure tight end may be a deal breaker for others. Oliver can make a significant impact in the red zone and deep passing situations, but that’s if he makes an NFL squad and can handle NFL-level defenders.

San Jose State hasn’t produced a tight end since 2004’s Courtney Anderson, and the school hasn’t produced an offensive player in the first two rounds since 1984’s Eric Richardson. Oliver has a chance to change both of those and has the potential to have the best NFL career of an SJSU alum since James Jones. If he had his way, he would go to his childhood favorite team, the Oakland Raiders. But he’s ready to join any team that’s willing to take a chance and draft him. He is highly spoken of among coaches and teammates and doesn’t appear to have off-the-field issues.


  • displayed mental toughness throughout college career;
  • adaptability to various schemes:
  • boasts large 10 1/4″ hands;
  • showcases impressive speed and initial burst;
  • route-tree is pretty well-developed.


  • lacks experience;
  • run-blocking needs a lot of work;
  • could become more polished as a route-runner;
  • footwork is too inconsistent when blocking;
  • needs to widen base as drive-blocker to improve ability to out-leverage opponent.

NFL ComparisonEric Ebron

Teams with Need at Position: Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills

Projection: Second to third round

Bottom Line

Many scouts are iffy on Josh Oliver, but some are rightfully giddy. He won’t come out of the gate as a clear starter, but with the right development and coaching, he should be an NFL-caliber vertical threat for years to come. The draft is heavy with more experienced and developed tight ends, though, leaving Oliver as an alternative option for teams. I would be surprised if he went any higher than the 79th spot (currently in Atlanta’s hands), but he is a worthy late-round pick and a great addition for any franchise. Playoff-ready pass offenses would be smart to snatch him.

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