Chris Olave’s rise in the NFL is a narrative of resilience and raw talent. The New Orleans Saints wide receiver, hailing from San Diego, has quickly become a standout player, showcasing his ability to make significant plays on the field. His impressive performance against the Atlanta Falcons, racking up 114 yards, is a testament to his growing prowess in the league.
Olave’s journey isn’t just about the numbers; it’s also about his ability to bounce back and his connection with his quarterbacks. Despite not taking the expected leap forward early on, Olave’s potential remains undeniable, with his quarterback Derek Carr’s unwavering confidence in him. This article will delve into Olave’s NFL journey, exploring the highs and lows that have shaped his burgeoning career.
Who is Chris Olave?
Early Life and High School Career
Chris Olave’s journey to NFL recognition began in San Ysidro, a community nestled on the southern edge of San Diego, where he grew up showcasing a deep passion for football. By the time he reached high school, Olave’s athletic prowess was evident. Playing for Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, California, he quickly became a standout player on the field. His senior year was particularly impressive, with Olave accumulating over 1,600 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns, embodying the raw talent that would later flourish at the collegiate and professional levels.
Olave’s college career at Ohio State University cemented his reputation as a reliable wide receiver. His breakout game as a freshman gave fans a glimpse of his game-changing abilities when he scored two touchdowns against the University of Michigan. Throughout his college tenure, Olave totaled 2,702 receiving yards and amassed 35 touchdowns, marking him as one of the Buckeyes’ most productive receivers. His senior year statistics and combine performance underscore his discipline and potential:
He demonstrated consistent improvement with each season, polishing his route running and hands-on skills. His exceptional play in his final two years, where he recorded 1,665 yards and 20 touchdowns over 18 games, foreshadowed a promising transition to the NFL. Despite a less impressive broad jump and a vertical leap that might not turn heads, his 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine revealed his remarkable speed, hinting at the impact he would soon have as an emerging star wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints.
Olave’s NFL Draft Prospects
Chris Olave’s entrance into the NFL was marked by exceptional field performance and a reputation as a polished route runner. His time at Ohio State University catered to a progressive enhancement of his skills where he accumulated an impressive 1,665 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns over 18 games in his last two collegiate seasons. With a 40-yard dash time of 4.39 seconds at the NFL Combine, Olave demonstrated the type of elite speed that captivates scouts and coaches alike. Standing at 6’1″ and weighing 189 lbs, he presents a profile that, while lean, is considerable for a wide receiver who can stretch the field vertically.
Olave’s ability to dominate the downfield passing game is a critical asset for the New Orleans Saints. He’s expected to be their primary deep threat, a role that aligns seamlessly with his strengths. Moreover, the prospects of Olave’s NFL career are bolstered by his noted capacity to create separation, not just through speed but through fine-tuned technical prowess and an innate understanding of defensive schemes.
Despite his commendable strengths, Olave’s transition into the professional league isn’t without areas for improvement. His performance at the Combine yielded a broad jump of 125 inches and a vertically measured leap of 32 inches—numbers that are not particularly impressive compared to his peers. These results hint at a lack of elite explosiveness, which could limit him in contested catch situations or when maneuvering in tight spaces against more physically imposing defenders.
Additionally, while Olave’s lean frame is advantageous for certain aspects of play, it could also pose challenges against the physicality of NFL-level defensive backs. The effectiveness of his play in press coverage situations or when fighting off physical cornerbacks at the line is an aspect that critics will be watching as he integrates into the Saints’ diverse receiving corps. The team dynamics and quarterback performance, particularly with Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton’s underwhelming quarterback situation, may further impact his ability to consistently showcase his talents.
In a category as competitive and multifaceted as fantasy football, Olave’s ability to adapt and overcome his weaknesses will be critical. The Saints’ hopes are high for Olave to bring consistent productivity and he’s got a considerable ceiling to aim for, provided he can harness and translate his strengths to counterbalance any perceived weaknesses on the field.
Potential Landing Spots for Chris Olave
With the impressive rookie and sophomore years that Chris Olave has had, it’s no wonder that several teams might be vying for his talent should the opportunity arise. His precise route-running and reliable hands make him an asset to any offense looking for a dynamic wide receiver. Here are a few teams that could potentially be a great fit for Olave.
One team that could significantly benefit from Olave’s skill set is a franchise with a young, developing quarterback in need of a sure-handed receiver. A team in the midst of rebuilding could see Olave as the missing piece in their offense. With his ability to create separation and secure catches consistently, he’d offer a dependable option on critical downs, thus fostering the confidence and development of a rising quarterback. Moreover, if the team struggles in the deep passing game, Olave’s downfield threat could open up their playbook, allowing for more creative and assertive play-calling.
Another potential spot for Chris Olave could be with a squad that has recently seen key wideouts depart, whether through free agency or retirement. This team would be on the lookout for a new number one receiver who can immediately step in and contribute. They’d likely be attracted to Olave’s NFL-ready route tree and his knack for coming down with challenging catches. With a solid quarterback at the helm, Olave could easily become the go-to target, building on the established offense and helping them maintain their competitive edge.
Alternatively, consider a team that’s just one or two pieces away from being a solid playoff contender. Such a team could greatly benefit from adding Olave to their receiving corps. His presence could make an already potent offense even more lethal, as defenses would have to respect his speed and precision, potentially freeing up other weapons on the field. His technical prowess and big-play ability would mesh well with a team that has a balanced attack but is looking for that extra spark to take them over the top.
Chris Olave’s arrival in the NFL is poised to make a significant impact wherever he lands. Teams on the cusp of playoff contention or those rebuilding their offense will find his abilities invaluable. His knack for precise route-running and consistent hands will be a boon for any quarterback, especially those still finding their footing in the league. As franchises look to the draft to bolster their rosters, Olave stands out as a top-tier wide receiver capable of elevating an entire offensive unit. The excitement surrounding his professional debut is well-founded, and fans should keep an eye on this promising player’s journey in the NFL.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who threw the most touchdowns in the NFL last year?
Patrick Mahomes led the NFL with 41 touchdown passes in the 2022 season.
Who is #12 for New Orleans Saints?
Chris Olave is player number 12 for the New Orleans Saints.
How good is Chris Olave?
Chris Olave was ranked as the seventh best receiver in the league last season according to FiveThirtyEight’s Receiver Rankings.
How is Chris Olave doing in the NFL?
As of Week 10, Chris Olave has 50 receptions for 563 yards and two touchdowns, tracking towards another 1,000-yard season.
Why is Chris Olave out?
Chris Olave missed a game due to a concussion but has since progressed through the concussion protocol and is expected to play in the upcoming game.