Ohio State has been churning out quality wide receivers lately, and Chris Olave more than fits the bill in the 2022 NFL Draft. His size and lack of physicality could require more of an adjustment to the next level, but Olave's route-running, hands, and feel for getting open should help carve out a significant role as a complementary target in any offense.
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Chris Olave Draft Profile
College: Ohio State
Ohio State has been churning out route-running savants, and Olave very much fits that mold. He’s a loose, smooth mover; there are no wasted movements, and he gets in and out of breaks in an instant. He knows how to stem his routes to keep defensive backs guessing and understands how to leverage DBs. His hands are excellent, with body control and coordination that allow him to adjust to the off-target throw resulting in a larger catch radius than you’d expect for his size. He accelerates and tracks the ball naturally downfield. He showed a natural feel for improvising when his quarterback made second-reaction plays, showing excellent chemistry in that area with Justin Fields and C.J. Stroud. He was especially effective as a red zone target, thanks in large part to his ability to improvise and work the back line.
Olave’s size is going to be an issue against physical defensive backs. He has long arms but also has a slight build. The question is how well he’ll hold up working intermediate levels and the middle of the field, and whether he can avoid being rerouted by physical defensive backs. He’s not a major threat in run-after-catch situations. He might ultimately settle in as more of a complementary piece at the next level.
Olave’s feel as a route-runner and reliability at the catch point suggest he could be a high-volume receiver in an offense that utilizes his ability downfield and speed to run away from defenses on crossing routes.
Final Grade: 1st Round