Ed Oliver: I can do same as Aaron Donald in NFL, if not better

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ed Oliver's stock seems to have fallen in the past year, as he's gone from a player people were talking about as a potential No. 1 overall pick to a guy who might be asked to change positions at the next level.

However, his confidence doesn't appear to have been shaken by the bumpy ride over the last 12 months.

When asked Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine for a player he models his game after, the former Houston defensive tackle immediately mentioned the Rams' Aaron Donald and said he believes he can make a Donald-like impact at the next level.

"I have to say Aaron Donald, just because of his stature and his style of play," Oliver said. "It's truly amazing to see what he's done at his size. I feel like I could come and do the same thing, if not better."

Now, it's true that Oliver and Donald both have been tagged with the undersized label, but Oliver's setting the bar awfully high. Donald has won the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award in consecutive seasons and is a four-time first-team All-Pro.

At the same time, it's also true that Oliver remains a fascinating talent -- the No. 7 player in the draft, per NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah -- who's been in the spotlight all week here in Indy and seems to be passing each test. He alleviated concerns about his size when he was measured on Friday, although his arms (31 3/4 inches) will be a concern for some, and tied for third among defensive linemen with 32 bench-press reps on Saturday. He'll have a chance to help himself again on Sunday when he performs drills with two different position groups. Oliver was among 41 prospects who were asked to work out at two positions at the combine, and he said he will indeed perform linebacker drills in addition to D-line drills Sunday.

"You never know," Oliver said. "I might end up playing linebacker in the league. I'm not (going to) object to it. I feel like I'm a D-lineman. I'm a three-technique, but if they pay me to play linebacker, guess what I'm going to be doing? Playing linebacker."

And if others are making the Donald comp by the time he's done with drills on Sunday, Oliver might very well belong back in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick.

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