Did The Saints Land The 2022 Offensive Rookie Of The Year?

August 10, 2022

Chris Olave comes into this year as part of a very talented wide receiver draft class. What are the former Ohio State standout’s chances at capturing this year’s OROY glory?

The Saints added yet another Buckeye to their roster when they drafted wide receiver Chris Olave with the number 11 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Olave, the third receiver taken, behind Atlanta’s Drake London and his former teammate, Garrett Wilson of the New York Jets, is showing why the Saints were right for trading up to snag him.

Saints trade up to select Ohio State WR Chris Olave with No. 11 pick, grab  OT Trevor Penning at No. 19
The Saints made a trade with the Commanders to get the No. 11 pick to select Olave

Olave Has Been Lighting Up Saints’ Camp

Chris Olave has been an offensive standout in the Saints’ training camp thus far. Quarterback Jameis Winston has looked to the rookie on multiple occasions, such as this 60-yard bomb during an 11-on-11 period.

Olave has not shied away from competition during camp. He has battled with defensive back Paulson Adebo, putting him in a blender in the process.

Saints’ WR Room Complements Olave’s Play With Veteran Talent

New Orleans will have their wide receiver one, Michael Thomas, back in action this year as well as newcomer Jarvis Landry in the mix. With two of the better route runners in the league, and arguably a top 5 receiver in the league (when healthy) in Michael Thomas, by his side, the Saints’ first-round pick is in a great position to learn from some of the game’s best.

In the Saints’ rejuvenated receiver room, Thomas and Landry excel in their roles within the short to intermediate range, leaving Olave to quickly establish himself as the team’s new deep threat.

Saints’ Quarterback Play Will Determine Offensive Success

The Saints addressed their holes in the offensive during the offseason, stacking up the receiver room and drafting OL Trevor Penning after the loss of Terron Armstead to the Miami Dolphins. Despite the departure of head coach and offensive play caller, Sean Payton, New Orleans still has a familiar face in Pete Carmichael at the OC position.

The biggest question mark that remains is the quarterback position. Coming off of the torn ACL, Jameis Winston will be reprising his role as the starting QB for this team, but can he stay healthy to replicate his success with Olave during the season? Will he be able to keep the ball safe enough in order to flip this offense around from last year’s abysmal passing attack? With the acquisitions made during the offseason, he certainly has the tools to do so.

With Olave being the team’s deep threat and Winston having more than enough arm to get his new weapons the rock, we could see a nice pairing between the two.

A Leg Up On The Competition

Olave seems to have found himself in one of the more comfortable situations compared to his other first-round counterparts.

  • Drake London: Despite having a successful training camp so far, London finds himself on a Falcons team seemingly going through a transitional year at quarterback as they look to rebuild.
  • Garrett Wilson: Olave’s former teammate finds himself on a new-look Jets offense with Zach Wilson at the helm, that looks to improve upon last year.
  • Jameson Williams: The Lions speedster out of Alabama finds himself rehabbing an injury going into the season with a possible hot seat QB in Jared Goff.
  • Jahan Dotson: Dotson has could be a part of a dangerous duo in Washington with Terry McLaurin, however, Carson Wentz’s performance will determine their success this season.
  • Treylon Burks: The Titans first-round pick started camps off rocky, and currently finds himself on the 2nd team offense.

Conclusion

Olave has a team around him that has set him up for success. As long as the question marks don’t hold back the performance of the Saints’ new toy, he is in a very good position to have the best season out of the 2022 draft class.