Scouting Report: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

By Kelby Goodman

Number: 26 | Hometown: Goodyear, AZ | Height: 6002 | Weight: 201 | Forty: 4.50 | Year: Junior | Twitter: @_isaiah_oliver_


If a GM created a corner from scratch Oliver, physically speaking, would likely not be far off from the prototype. He has ideal length and above average speed to go along with his size. The former Buffalo has the physicality to be an upper echelon press corner in the NFL. Will be able to reroute most receivers with ease while in press. When the ball is in the air he tracks it well and his lanky arms allow him to fight for every ball. Oliver reads and fights through screens well and is a more than willing tackler. His size works against him at times and he gets too upright in his backpedal which leads to a slow transition on vertical routes. Relies on his length to make up for this but when facing elite speed in the NFL he may not get so lucky. Plays stiff at times and struggles to mirror on breaking routes, especially comebacks which is evident in the USC game. Change of direction needs work and seems to struggle to switch from a higher gear and chop his feet to slow down, leading to over running routes. Significantly better in man press coverage than when playing off or in zone. Gets caught watching and gives up his deep third at times. Play is very similar to former NFL great Al Harris. Oliver should have a healthy NFL career and will likely be off the boards in the top 50 picks.


Colorado: Career—Opted to declare for the NFL Draft after his junior season (the ninth player in CU history to do so) …
Recorded 32 passes broken up, tied for the 10th-most in school history (35 defended total including three interceptions, which tied for 13th) … In his career at CU (37 games including the 2016 Alamo Bowl, 16 starts), he played with four defensive backs who made NFL rosters: Chidobe Awuzie (Cowboys), Kenneth Crawley (Saints), Tedric Thompson (Seahawks) and Ahkello Witherspoon (49ers).

2017 (Jr.): He earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors from both the Associated Press and the league coaches, while also garnering second-team All-America honors from SB Nation and … Earned first-team All-Colorado honors from the state’s NFF chapter, and participated in the All-Star Football Challenge in the postseason … He played in 10 games (all starts), missing the California and Arizona State games due to a leg injury he suffered in the first half at Washington State (which also forced him to miss the second half against USC) … Was in for 627 snaps from scrimmage and recorded 27 tackles (22 solo, one for a loss and another for zero gain) … Had a team-high 13 pass deflections and 15 passes defending in total when adding in two interceptions … Also recorded five third down stops and four touchdown saves … He opened the season with four pass breakups against Colorado State, a game in which he mainly covered Ram All-American Michael Gallup; he was targeted 15 times but only allowed six completions for 63 yards … His interceptions came in back-to-back games against Texas State and Northern Colorado in weeks two and three (he returned the one against TSXT for 41 yards; he also had two pass breakups in that game) … For the season, when targeted, opposing quarterbacks were just 26-of-63 for 402 yards (41.3 completion percentage, 105.2 passer rating) with five touchdowns and five interceptions (teammates picked off three balls); he batted down 13 passes and picked off two … On special teams, he returned five punts for 16 yards (3.2 average), had a first down field credit that altered a return and caused three opponent penalties … Along with quarterback Steven Montez, he earned the team’s John Wooten Award for outstanding work ethic during spring ball … Pro Football Focus ranked him No. 8 on its list of top 10 players in the Pac-12 returning in 2017 … Athlon Sports, Phil Steele’s College Football and all selected him as a preseason second-team All-Pac-12 performer as a cornerback … As a punt returner he was a second-team preseason selection by Phil Steele’s College Football, a third-team pick by and a fourth-team selection by Athlon Sports.

2016 (Soph.): He played in all 13 games (starting two, at Oregon and versus Utah) in addition to starting in the Alamo Bowl, but he was a mainstay in the secondary as he was in for 440 snaps … The coaches named him the recipient of the team’s Bill McCartney Award, honoring a player for special teams achievement … Recorded 25 tackles on the year, broke up 13 passes to tie for third on the team, and recorded eight third down stops … Picked an opportune time for his first career interception (only one on the season), which came in the final two minutes in the 10-5 win at Stanford to help seal the victory; he had three tackles and two third down stops in the win against the reigning league champion Cardinal … In taking over punt return duties for the second half of the season, he returned 14 for 164 yards and one touchdown … Had he returned enough punts to meet the NCAA’s statistical minimum, he would have ranked fourth in the Pac-12 and 11th in the FBS for the highest punt return average (11.7) … Collected Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week and CU Athlete of the Week honors after the UCLA victory when he returned five punts for 124 yards,  one covering 68 yards for a touchdown that came with 5:27 remaining to seal CU’s 20-10 victory (CU’s first punt return for a score since 2005) … Return yardage was the most in a game by any Pac-12 player on the year and the fourth-most of any FBS player … Became the first Buff to have over 100 yards in punt returns in a game since Josh Smith (4-108) against Eastern Washington in 2008; it was the most yards since Roman Hollowell had 148 yards (six returns) against Fresno State in 2001 … In addition to his big plays returning punts (he also had a 42-yard return against the Bruins), he also broke up two passes and had a third down stop … Posted a season/career-high seven tackles – all solo stops – at No. 4 Michigan … He recorded two tackles, a third down stop and one pass breakup while returning the first punt of his career, which covered 12 yards in a win at Oregon … He recorded a pair of pass breakups in five different games (Oregon State, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington State and Washington).

2015 (Fr.): He played in all 13 games, including nine of defense and three starts, all coming on the road (Arizona State, Washington State, Utah) … In 216 plays from scrimmage, he racked up 19 tackles (16 solo), with six passes broken up, five third down stops, a tackle for zero and a touchdown save … Had a season-high six tackles at Washington State (five solo; with three third down stops and two PBU’s in the same game), and followed that up with four at Utah … Earned 12 special team points on the season, accumulated by seven tackles (six solo), a forced fumble, a knockdown block on a return, a downed punt, a first downfield credit that altered an opponent return, and a caused penalty … He had six of those points in the season finale at Utah, tied for the most in any game by a Buff for the season … He reported to CU with the option of playing either wide receiver or cornerback, but settled for the defensive side of the ball.

Track & Field: He competed two seasons in the decathlon on CU’s outdoor track team, and was a two-time All-Pac-12 performer in the event … As a sophomore (2017), he finished fourth at the Pac-12 Championships with 7,394 points (just 136 out of the lead), and he won the 100-meter (10.82) and 400-meter (48.15) dashes and the long jump (24-1); placed second in the 110-hurdles (14.36) and the shot put (42-2) and third in the discus (121-7) … In just his second meet as a freshman in the spring of 2016, he finished seventh at the Pac-12s with 6,952 points (a huge leap from his first effort of 6,415 at the California Invite) … As a sophomore in the California Invitational, he had posted the highest score by a CU decathlete in 43 years in rolling up 7,331 points in finishing third until topping it at the Pac-12 multis.

High School: He earned first-team All-State and All-Section honors as a senior, when he also garnered All-Arizona Super Top 25 honors and was ranked as the No. 19 overall prospect in the state of Arizona (; No. 24 by the Arizona Republic) … Was a second-team All-State and first-team All-Section as a junior … Also captured one of the uniquely named awards out there his senior year: he was Friday Night Fever’s Defensive Player of the Year … The owner of a consistent 37-inch vertical leap, he blocked an incredible nine kicks (field goals or extra points) in his prep career … As a senior, he caught 50 passes for 1,352 yards, averaging just a shade over 27 yards per catch, with 12 touchdowns and a long of 79; he had seven games with over 100 yards, and 10 receptions that exceeded 50 yards in length … Rushed four times for 64 yards and two more touchdowns, and had 125 kick return yards; in all, he had 66 touches for 1,541 yards, averaging 23.3 yards for each … On defense, he recorded 64 tackles (54 solo, four for losses), with seven interceptions, eight passes broken up, five blocked kicks and a hurried pass … As a junior, he caught 22 passes for 413 yards (18.8 per) and seven touchdowns, with 256 kick return yards … He had 56 tackles on defense (43 unassisted), with four interceptions, two deflections and two fumble recoveries along with four blocked kicks … In his two-year varsity career, he had 111 offensive/special team touches for 2,212 yards, which averaged to 19.9 yards every time the ball was in his hands … Top games as a senior: in a 45-0 win over Perry, he caught eight passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns; in a 49-19 win over Dobson, he had five receptions for 161 yards and three touchdowns; and in a 40-35 win over Desert Ridge, he caught five balls for 186 yards and was in on 10 tackles on defense … As a junior, in a 28-14 win over Westview, he had a career-high 14 tackles (13 solo), with two catches for 57 yards a score … Under coach Scooter Molander (the former Colorado State quarterback), Brophy Prep was 10-4 his senior year, claiming the Section IV title and reaching the state semifinals, 5-7 his junior season … He lettered four times in track and field; a decathlete (like his father), he had personal bests of 10.70 in the 100-meter dash, 14.05 in the 110-hurdles, 36.53 in the 300-hurdles, 47.13 in the 400-meter dash and 23-2½ in the long jump … He was All-State in track as a junior and senior; he was state champion in both hurdle events (110 and 300) and was on Brophy Prep’s state champion 4×400 team (he was the anchor) … He finished second in the state meet in the 300-hurdles and sixth in the long jump.

Academics: He is majoring in Strategic Communication with a minor in Business at Colorado … He earned honorable mention Academic All-Colorado honors from the state’s NFF chapter as a true freshman.

Personal: He was born Sept. 30, 1996 in Phoenix, Ariz. … Lists his “hobby” as spending time with his family – he has three brothers and three sisters … Father (Muhammad), played cornerback at the University of Oregon and was a world-class decathlete (an NCAA track All-American); he was selected in the ninth round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos and played five seasons in the league with five teams (Denver, Green Bay, Kansas City, Miami and Washington) … An uncle (Damon Mays) was a wide receiver at Missouri and in the NFL with Houston and Washington … He is very active in his community, working as a referee for youth flag football games through Vista Montessori and has worked weekends with the St. Vincent de Paul Society serving meals to the underprivileged.