A year ago, a pair of Colorado Buffaloes defensive backs, Chidobe Awuzie and Ahkello Witherspoon turned heads in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine. Monday, it was Isaiah Oliver’s turn. Projected by some to be a first-round selection in next month’s NFL Draft, Oliver’s official 40-yard dash time of 4.50 seconds landed him in the middle of the pack compared to other defensive backs in attendance.
Not exactly top-level speed for a NFL cornerback, but Oliver’s performance – along with his six-foot, 201-pound frame - was enough to grab the attention of quite a few watching.
“At 6-foot-0 and 200 pounds with mammoth 33 4/8” arms, Oliver zoomed to a 4.50 in the 40, certainly impressive for a bigger cornerback,” wrote CBSSports.com NFL Draft writer Chris Trapasso, who listed Oliver among his defensive back ‘winners’ Monday.
“He has the size and athletic makeup to be a No. 1 outside corner in the NFL.” Those mammoth arms Trapasso mentioned helped Oliver defend 32 passes (29 breakups, three interceptions) during his three years in Boulder, which according to CUBuffs.com ranks second all-time among Pac-12 defenders. Oliver is looking to become the first Buffaloes defensive back selected in the first round since Jimmy Smith was taken 27th overall by the Baltimore Ravens in 2011.
Here’s a look at what others we’re saying about Oliver’s combine performance:
Jonah Tuls, NFL Draft analyst for NDTScoutingLLC
The big corners that stood out in the drills: Isaiah Oliver, Quenton Meeks, and Isaac Yiadom.— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) March 5, 2018
Thought Carlton Davis and Josh Jackson struggled today.
Cole Thompson, Long-form writer & analyst for @TheDraftWire
We all have draft crushes and one, my top CB, Isaiah Oliver just impressed the hell out of me today. Yes, 4.59 isn’t top level speed, but his size, ball skills and athletic traits will grade him out for me in the top 20. #NFLDraft— Cole Thompson (@MrColeThompson) March 5, 2018
Chris Trapasso, CBSSports.com NFL Draft writer
Also, Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver running 4.50 at 6’0-2/8”, 201 pounds with 33 1/2” arms is outstanding. Definitely checked the size, speed, and length boxes this week. He’s another one of my RD1 corners.— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) March 5, 2018
The 2018 NFL Draft will be held April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the first Draft to take place inside an NFL stadium. Coverage can be seen on ESPN/ESPN2 and Fox/NFL Network.