Chris Olave could have been a day two wide receiver in the 2021 draft. He is returning to school and has the opportunity to vault his stock into the first round.
Chris Olave has been a play-maker for his entire career for the Buckeyes. He is a smooth operator on the field and has some major big-play potential. His route running is crisp and he has been Ohio State’s top receiver for two years straight. The Buckeyes currently boast a nice young group of wide receiver recruits and returning players. Olave should continue to lead this group and have another big year. He has the potential to be a top receiver going into next year’s draft. Lets take a look into the profile of Chris Olave.
College Overview To Date
Career Stats: 27 games, 110 receptions, 1,766 receiving yards, 16.1 yards per reception and 22 touchdowns
Chris Olave was a four-star recruit after his high school career. Not only was he a star football player but he was a track star as well. Olave was able to make his mark as a true freshman. Though he only made 12 catches his freshman year, he turned those 12 catches into 197 yards and 3 touchdowns at 14.1 yards per reception. Olave showed vast improvement in his sophomore season, leading the team in receiving yards (849), yards per reception (17.3) and touchdowns (12). He caught at least one pass, in 13 of the 14 games he played, in the 2019 season.
After this sophomore breakout, Olave was selected to the third-team all Big-10. Olave was a member of the 2020 pre-season Biletnikoff Award Watch List, an award given to the top wide receiver in the country. In a shortened season of only six games, Olave totaled 660 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns, an average of 110 yards per game and a touchdown. Olave, as a sophomore, outplayed the seniors on the team and even though the Buckeyes recruited some of the top wideouts in the country, Olave held them off and had an even better junior campaign.
Chris Olave Strengths
Chris Olave is an incredibly polished route runner and runs a full route tree. He has crisp and quick breaks off of his stem and keeps defenders off balance and forces missteps. Watch how he sells the corner route and then breaks inside for the post:
Chris Olave is one one of the best route runners in college football. Pure, fluid, explosive – the true sophomore has it all.
Wisconsin has to commit multiple defensive backs to stopping his vertical presence. pic.twitter.com/fAC0yhH56q
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) December 6, 2019
He has good short area quickness and agility and thrives off short quick breaking routes. Olave does a great job creating separation and opens up large pass windows for his quarterbacks. Look at the separation created by Olave on this comeback route:
Chris Olave (bottom of screen) comeback route. Adjusts his stem to chase the CB's blindspot, snapdown, negative finish towards the boundary. Olave will be a 2021 #NFLDraft favorite. pic.twitter.com/5L0qH4zswf
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) March 24, 2020
Olave is a proven hands catcher, nabbing balls out of the air and away from his body. He has absolutely terrific body control and does a great job making adjustments in the air. He also shows good sideline awareness when you need him to get out of bounds or when preventing being pressed to the sideline. Though he is thin in stature, he still does a great job beating press man coverage. As opposed to winning with strength, he uses quick feet and finesse moves at the line to beat the cornerback. Looking at his frame you would not think he is a big redzone target, but his separation helped him contribute 17 touchdowns over his last 18 games. He is a big play threat waiting to happen, averaging a career 16.1 yards per reception. Watch this beautiful ball tracking on this 56 yard touchdown:
60+ yards in the air DOT from Justin Fields. I wouldn’t let Chris Olave fall out of the top 32 picks. pic.twitter.com/gr95chfYMv
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) January 2, 2021
Chris Olave Weaknesses
Chris Olave is not a physical receiver by any means. When he does not win at the line with his footwork, strong corners easily throw him off of his routes. Many teams frown upon receivers of his stature and may force him to drop a bit. Though he shows good short area quickness, his straight line speed is just average. Olave also has zero business as a downfield blocker, which may be due to his lack of strength.
Olave has the potential to be an excellent option at the next level. Though he may never be that big, physically dominating wide receiver, he will still impose the fear of being burnt in the eyes of defensive backs. His smooth operating route running should allow him to win at all levels of the field. He creates great separation which should allow him to be a redzone favorite of any quarterback who he is paired with in the NFL. Olave has a skillset to be a number one wide receiver in the NFL, a top end number two at the least. If he can continue to lead the Buckeyes in receiving, outproducing this young group, he should be able to be a first round draft prospect for 2022.
Make sure that you subscribe and order our draft magazines for the 2021 draft prospects. It will be full of analysis to help you in your rookie drafts. Get ready for our new rankings tool where I myself have contributed season long projections to create rankings catered to any scoring. Remember…the Tooth has the taste for IDP.