COLUMBUS, Ohio – Second in a series of capsules examining Ohio State football’s 2022 NFL Draft class.
Chris Olave put off the NFL Draft and returned for a fourth season with two goals in mind.
He and the Buckeyes fell short of the team goals. Olave certainly envisioned concluding his career in the playoffs, at worst. Instead, he tagged along on OSU’s trip to his native California for the Rose Bowl as a spectator, opting out in deference to his draft opportunity.
As far as individual improvement, though, Olave certainly enhanced his draft status with his All-American season. After impressing further at the NFL Scouting Combine, he solidified his status as a first-round talent who seems guaranteed to be among the first four or five receivers selected.
Olave plainly stated he believes he is the best route runner in this draft, and a lot of evaluators believe he’s correct. He separates with efficiency, using some combination of his footwork and body control with his sub-4.4 speed to create big-play opportunities. He turned 20% of his career receptions into touchdowns.
Olave also wanted to enhance his strength after returning to OSU, and that may be the biggest remaining question about his game. On the other hand, he measured up better than expected at the combine. His Relative Athletic Score of 8.69 is better than Wilson, USC’s Drake London or Alabama’s Jameson Williams.
Olave was a diamond-in-the-rough of sorts at OSU who rose from 3-star prospect to become the program’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions. He is underrated no more, but possesses the skills and intangibles to live up to his pending NFL status.
Height / weight: 6-0 1/2, 185 pounds
40 time: 4.39 seconds
Bench press: N / A
Notable: Olave’s vertical leap of 32 inches was tied for the fourth-worst among receivers at the combine.
2021: 12 games, 65 receptions, 936 yards (Aug 14), 13 TDs
Career: 47 games, 176 receptions, 2,711 yards (Aug 15), 35 TDs
NFL: 6.43 (“Will become a good starter within two years.”)
ESPN: 90 (No. 17 overall)
Pro Football Focus: No. 21 overall
Buckeye Talk Predictions
Baird: No. 16 to NEW ORLEANS SAINTS. Sean Payton may be gone, but the Saints have been Columbus South recently and they need more receiving threats to pair with Michael Thomas.
Lesmerises: No. 15 to PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. As with the Jets and Garrett Wilson, why wait to see who is left when the Eagles pick again at 18? They can get the best option available right here.
Means: No. 15 to PHILADELPHIA EAGLES.
Other Ohio State capsules
WR Garrett Wilson
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