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ESPN’s Mike Triplett writes that WR Chris Olave “has looked the part” through minicamp practices. Triplet points out the rookie’s “fluid route-running” and “big-play ability.” That certainly backs up Olave’s tape at Ohio State. He’s simply not coming at a major discount in drafts, as his FFPC ADP currently sits in Round 10/11. Michael Thomas’ ability to get close to pre-injury form will be key for Olave’s 2022 upside.

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The Saints traded up to grab Ohio State WR Chris Olave with the 11th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Olave broke out as a sophomore, leading that 2019 Buckeyes squad with 840 yards and 12 TDs – ahead of redshirt senior K.J. Hill and freshman Garrett Wilson. Olave was even better in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, averaging 7.1 catches, 104.1 yards and 1 TD across 7 games (all team highs). He ranked top 12 in the nation in both Pro Football Focus receiving grade and yards per route run. Olave made a somewhat surprising decision to return for his senior season last year and saw his production take a step back. He averaged 5.4 catches, 78 yards and 1.1 TDs per game, finishing 2nd on the team in TDs per game behind Wilson and 3rd in catches and yards per game behind Wilson and sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who’s widely expected to be a 1st-round pick next year. Olave set 3-year lows in PFF receiving grade and yards per route run. The 2021 campaign is slightly concerning, but his overall production profile remains strong. Olave’s tape shows a dangerous downfield weapon with 4.39-second speed and excellent ball-tracking skills. He’s also a refined route runner, making Olave arguably the most NFL-ready WR in this class. On the downside, Olave is just 187 pounds and offers nearly nothing after the catch. He looks to us like a #2 WR in the NFL. That’s what he figures to be at least in the short term in New Orleans behind Michael Thomas.

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