Here are the strengths and weaknesses for the former Spartan.
Oliver could be one of the highest drafted Spartans in over 10 years.
Former San Jose State tight end Josh Oliver has transformed himself from a lightly recruited player from Paso Robles, California, to Senior Bowl participant and likely Day 2 NFL draft pick.
After starting his sophomore and junior seasons, Oliver improved his draft stock, even more his senior season by averaging 12.7 yards per catch and snagging every ball that came his way. Oliver already looks the part of an NFL tight end with 6’5″ height and a chiseled body but we will look at his exact strengths and weaknesses heading into the draft.
Selected by: Jacksonville Jaguars, third round (#69 overall)
Measurables (via Mockdraftable)
Oliver has all the facets of a pass-catching tight end in the NFL. He has great ball skills combined with great height which allow him to go up and get passes over smaller defenders. In addition, he has the ability to adjust to the ball wheater it is behind him or down low.
While at San Jose State he was the main pass catcher and showed the ability to work all 3 levels of the field. Oliver also has great overall athleticism and while some have questioned his speed he did tie for the 3rd highest 40 time in his position group at the NFL combine.
In college, Oliver was able to use great position and hat placement to block defenders but this will not work with NFL sized defensive ends and outside linebackers. He will need to improve as a blocker and show some ability to drive defenders off the ball if he wants to become a starting NFL tight end.
Oliver also lacks a great ability to change direction. He can be a little slow to get out of his stance and his route running could be a little crisper in and out of breaks.
Before the season Oliver was likely to go on Day 3 but he has improved his stock enough to be a Day 2 pick. He will likely go between the late 3rd and early 5th round even with this being a deep tight end class. NFL.com has Oliver at a 5.54 prospect grade which grades out to a chance of becoming an NFL starter.