ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB)– Ed Oliver stood in front of his locker after practice with a crowd of reporters surrounding him. The Bills 1st round pick was asked if Sunday was the first time he didn’t start a game?
“You’re probably right, I didn’t even think about that.”
The rookie defensive tackle only played 18 snaps against Washington, a big drop-off in playing time. So, how is the rookie dealing with adversity?
“Frustrating to say the least,” Oliver said. “I have to keep striving and keep make strides in the right direction.”
Shaq Lawson can relate to what Oliver is going through, “Fans want you to make spectacular plays as a first round pick but sometimes you have to wait and let it come to you.”
Lawson was the team’s 1st round pick in the 2016 and says it can be tough to block out the critics.
“There was a pressure to make every play because you’re suppose to be that guy and they drafted you in the 1st round, Lawson explained.”
“It’s tough for anybody especially for a rookie,” veteran Star Lotulelei said. “We see why he was taken in the first round, he has all the ability in the world and it’s just a matter of small technique things and he’ll be fine.”
The jump from the University of Houston to the NFL has provided some growing pains and plenty of learning moments for Oliver.
“This isn’t college, I can’t freelance so that’s the biggest place that I need to clean up and play more efficient,” Oliver continued. “It’s being consistent, that’s the big hold up right now is consistency and not every other play but every play.”
Eight games into his rookie season and Oliver only has one sack. Entering the league he was compared to Aaron Donald, who had 3 sacks in his first 9 career game so fans shouldn’t hit the panic button.
“As far as an NFL career goes, I’m still a baby,” The 21-year-old smiled. “I have everything to learn and my whole career is ahead of me. When you’re finished learning, you’re finished playing.”