2022 NFL Draft Player Preview: Chris Olave

  • Chris Olave, 6-1/188

  • Wide Receiver

  • Ohio State

  • Chris Olave 2021 Preview
    By Charlie Campbell

    Career Recap: The Buckeyes had other good receiving talent with more experience on their roster for 2019, but Olave because their most dynamic receiver playmaker and totaled 849 yards and 12 touchdowns on 49 catches. He was a big-time point producer and the No. 1 receiver for Justin Fields. Olave looked like he was just getting started, as his 2019 totalers were huge increases over his freshman year, when he caught 12 passes for 197 yards and three scores.

    The 2020 season was shortened to only seven games for Olave, but he played well while also dealing with some injuries. Olave collected 50 receptions for 729 yards and seven touchdowns. He put together impressive outings against Penn State (7-120-2), Michigan State (10-139-1) and Clemson (6-132-2).

    2021 Season Outlook: There are a lot of weak Big Ten opponents on Ohio State's schedule, so Olave should produce a good season. One would think with all the talent that has come through the Buckeyes program, finding a quality quarterback to get Olave the ball won't be a problem for head coach Ryan Day.

    Skill-Set Summary: In the passing-driven NFL, teams are always on the look out for receiving weapons to move the chains and produce big plays. Thus, there should be plenty of teams targeting Olave in the 2022 NFL Draft, assuming he foregoes he senior year. Olave showed a pro skill set as a sophomore and looks ready to play at the NFL level right now.

    Over his first two seasons of playing time, Olave was very polished, showing a well-rounded skill set with good technique. While Olave is not a burner like DeSean Jackson, Henry Ruggs or Will Fuller, Olave is fast and can run by defensive backs. He has the ability to challenge defenses over the top and is a threat to go vertical for a score on any reception.

    Along with being fast, Olave is a smooth route-runner whp does not take extra steps and glides through the secondary with easy speed. With his route-running and quickness, Olave is constantly generating separation to get open for his quarterback. He shows good recognition and feel for defenders to find soft spots in the secondary. Olave was sure handed in 2019, but his hands were not as good in 2020, so it will be interesting to see how he reliable in terms of securing the ball in 2021.

    Olave has superb body control along the sideline and the athleticism to adjust. His intelligence and polish shows up in how he refuses to quit on plays, and he is very good at breaking off routes to run to openings in order to help his scrambling quarterback.

    Olave has a thinner build and does not possess mismatch height or length. It would help him to get a little stronger for the NFL as long as he doesn't lose speed by adding more muscle mass to scrap with pro defensive backs. He also has a tendency to body catch some passes that he could attack with his hands. Staying healthy and avoiding injury are concerns after 2020, and those things go hand-in-hand with his build.

    Olave looks like a future starter in the NFL with the versatility to be an outside receiver or line up in the slot. Early in his pro career, he could be a key contributor to a potent passing attack.

    2021 NFL Draft Expectations: Entering the 2021 season, Olave looks like an early-round prospect who has a wide range of values for the top half of the 2021 NFL Draft.



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