With the 11th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected wide receiver Chris Olave. The Saints traded up with the Washington Commanders to get this pick, so it was a bit of a surprise they went with Olave here. With that being said, Olave will flourish in New Orleans and this a good step in the right direction for the Saints new front office.
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave leaves a loaded position group and is expected to be among the top pass catchers selected during the 2022 NFL Draft. Olave played a big role in the Buckeyes offense the previous three seasons and had his best statistical season in 2021, though the 2020 campaign was shortened.
In his final college football season, Olave caught 65 passes for 936 yards with 13 touchdowns.
WR Chris Olave: Scouting Report
Olave was a consistent wideout for Ohio State throughout his career and was easily relied upon to make big plays. Olave should have success on the deep ball, and that could be his role early on. His weakness could come in strength, going up against well-built NFL defensive backs.
Mock Draft landing spots
Mel Kiper/Todd McShay (ESPN): No. 19, New Orleans Saints
“Mel took care of Terron Armstead‘s replacement at offensive tackle (Penning), so I’ll finish the first-round job for the Saints with a receiver. Michael Thomas hasn’t been on the field much over the past two seasons, and the depth chart is pretty weak beyond him. Olave is a smooth route runner with the ability to make vertical plays.” – McShay
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): No. 28, Green Bay Packers
“They go receiver-receiver with their two picks. Why not? Without Davante Adams, they need help in the worst way.”
Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News): No. 11, Washington Commanders
“The Commanders need to give Carson Wentz and Terry McLaurin some help at wideout and getting a true speedy No. 1 outside would be a great decision for Scott Turner’s offense. Olave has a little more all-around appeal for his explosiveness than former teammates Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams.”
Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports): No. 20, Atlanta Falcons
“The Falcons are in rebuild mode but aren’t opposed to moving up to get a marquee talent at a valuable position. In this trade, Pittsburgh gets No. 43, No. 58 and a 2023 second-round pick from Atlanta.”
Fantasy impact: Rookie year
Olave has the speed to get behind the defense, so whichever franchise that selects him should send him out on some vertical routes for deep shot opportunities early in his career. He is certainly better than just a burner looking to beat defenses over the top, so it’s possible Olave creates value for himself as a fantasy football contributor this fall.
Fantasy impact: Career
Olave plays a style that is sustainable at the NFL level, so he should be a part of fantasy football drafts for years to come. With the combination of his speed and consistency as a play maker, there is a lot to like about Olave’s game. He should become a starting wide receiver early and keep that role for a long time.