Chris Olave is ready to rise in a deep class of wide receivers
The 2021 NFL Draft looks to be another year chock full of quality wide receiver talent. From top to bottom, there are players that play a meaningful role in NFL offenses. This is good news for receiver needy teams.
One such name that has surprisingly lost in the conversation is Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave. While he got his due during the summer scouting season, Olave hasn’t quite gotten the same attention as other players in this class despite the talent on display.
However, Olave managed to show the entire country just how talented he is with an fantastic showing during Friday night’s Sugar Bowl. Olave finished the night with 132 yards on six receptions with two touchdowns.
Welcome to the Chris Olave Show!
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Olave struggled with an undisclosed injury during Ohio State’s COVID-19 shortened season. The injury of course, kept him out of the much anticipated BIG 10 championship game against Northwestern. However, Olave didn’t look at all bothered by whatever that injury may have been that kept him out.
Against the Clemson Tigers, displayed his downfield play ability, notching several big catches for chunk yardage. Olave looked smooth and fast out of his releases, while showing off his great deep speed. Late in the third quarter, he caught a 60+ yard bomb from quarterback Justin Fields, who also had quite the performance himself.
What is draft stock of Olave?
However, it was just his deep speed that had draft fans ogling, as Olave got to display his great foot quickness and body control as well. This writer noticed his ability to work the comeback route to near perfection. As for body control, Olave caught his first touchdown on a corner of the endzone pass where he had to stop on a dime to make the play.
Ryan McCrary of NFL Mocks makes his case, stating Olave deserves to be a first round pick:
"“Chris Olave’s nuance as a route runner combined with his size and explosiveness makes him an intriguing prospect. He is creative in the way he creates advantages for himself and there’s no doubt that he has the work ethic to make it in the NFL.”"
Overall, Olave may have played himself into the first round conversation with his performance during the Sugar Bowl. Olave has put up some good film during the 2020 season, and should expect a declaration for the 2021 NFL Draft after the National Championship game.