Ranking the top local Bay Area prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
4 of 6
2019 NFL Draft
ORLANDO, FL – DECEMBER 19: Josh Oliver #89 of the San Jose State Spartans makes a reception for a touchdown during the AutoNation Cure Bowl against the Georgia State Panthers at Florida Citrus Bowl on December 19, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. 2019 NFL Draft Stanford football (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

We take a break from Stanford prospects to look at another one of the many draftable tight end prospects in this year’s class with San Jose State’s Josh Oliver.

Oliver broke out as a senior in 2018 hauling in a team-leading 56 receptions for 709 yards and four touchdowns earning first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors along the way. Originally recruited as a pass rusher, Oliver was moved over to the offensive side of the ball during his freshman season after the Spartans suffered a slew of injuries at the position.

At 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds, Oliver has good size which he uses to consistently win in contested catch situations. However, unlike the other pass catches on this list, Oliver is a plus-athlete who excels in a vertical offense where he could be asked to run up the seam and make grabs.

Related Story. San Francisco 49ers: Full seven-round 2019 NFL mock draft. light

His combination of size, athleticism, and ball skills give him starting potential even if his blocking ability isn’t up to par at the moment. That said, he isn’t elite in any one area and doesn’t project as a starter right out of the gate.

Given his blocking issues, he could struggle to see the field early on and would be best suited in offenses that utilize multiple tight ends in the passing game such as the Kansas City Chiefs. Splitting him out wide in the slot could be a good use of his talent even if he isn’t an incredibly dynamic athlete.

Oliver projects as a solid mid-round selection who could make an impact in a deep tight end class. However, that impact is more likely to come in year two or three as opposed to his rookie season.