Olave, a three-year throttler at Ohio State, figures to have an instant role in the offense. The first-round pick was a regular staple in the Buckeyes offense as both a short-area target and as a deep-ball receiver. His instant acceleration was his secret weapon to blast opponents for 15.4 yards per catch and score 35 touchdowns over four years, including 32 in his final 33 games. What Olave has in speed he lacks in power, so there is a little concern about how he'll do once defenders start hitting him, but he's plenty elusive which will keep defenders baffled. There is a path where Olave leads all rookie receivers in yards and touchdowns, and he's got the right kind of downfield strong-arm in Jameis Winston to get there, but he absolutely will have to share targets with Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry along the way. No doubt he should be considered around pick No. 100 overall in seasonal leagues, while he'll go anywhere from second to ninth overall in rookie-only drafts depending on format.
Olave clearly brings plenty of physical upside, and his style matches well with QB Jameis Winston’s desire to send targets downfield. Olave looks intriguing long term. His primary questions for this year, though, center on his QB and available targets. Winston is coming off an ACL tear and barely played the year before that. Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry have each taken turns as leading targets, plus Alvin Kamara has drawn dominant target shares for a RB. Ultimately, Olave projects as a more frustrating play than comforting for lineup-setting formats, especially in full-PPR scoring. Even in best ball, you can find more upside in other options around his ADP.
Olave was selected by the Saints with the 11th overall pick of April's draft. He is a thin, vertical receiver with good speed (4.39 40-yard dash) but underwhelming strength/bulk. The OSU product can play inside and out (28% slot in 2021) and does most of his damage down field (14.1 aDOT). He doesn't do much after the catch (weak 4.2 RAC in 2021, 3.8 for career) and will need to clean up late-career drops (seven in 2021). His combination of polish, speed, route-running and ball skills supplies him with big upside and, even with Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry in the fold, he has a path to a solid target share in 2022. Olave is a fine flex option and he could quickly emerge as Jameis Winston's top target if the oft-injured Thomas misses more time.
Chris Olave was selected with the 11th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Olave has the opportunity to be the wide receiver opposite of Michael Thomas. Olave was a good vertical and perimeter threat at Ohio State and is paired with Jameis Winston, who has fueled wide receiver productivity throughout his career. Michael Thomas has missed 26 of the last 33 games, and is a potential cut candidate after 2022. This leaves the upside and ability for Olave to be the leading wide receiver in New Orleans as soon as 2023.