What he brings: Ed Oliver was a first-team AP All-America performer as a freshman. If that doesn’t sell someone on his value, well, who knows what will.
Oliver racked up 66 tackles with 22.5 stops for loss, five sacks, nine pass breakups and three forced fumbles in 2016. It’s not a happy coincidence Houston’s already-feared defense improved after his arrival.
Why he’s needed: Having a playmaker like Oliver up front is an enormous luxury. The 6’2", 290-pounder demands two blockers on every snap, so the Cougars always have a pre-snap advantage. But they also must replace three defenders who combined for 32 tackles for loss in 2016.
Oliver’s presence can ease a difficult transition.