NFL Draft: Is Ohio State's Chris Olave too good for the Dallas Cowboys to ignore?

Welcome to the 2022 edition of the Fantasy Football Rookie Snapshot NFL draft series! In this space, fantasy football expert Liz Loza will analyze the incoming class of first-year stars and gauge their impact — be it immediate or latent — on our fake football game.

Next up, the wide receivers. Liz covered Treylon Burks here. Then, Ohio State standout, Garrett Wilson. She also profiled Drake London. Now, the next elite Buckeye, Chris Olave!

Chris Olave, Ohio State

Size: 6-feet-tall and 187 pounds

Age: 21-years-old (6/27/2000)

Bio: Olave was born and raised in San Ysidro, just three miles from downtown Tijuana. He was a three-sport athlete at Mission Hills High, excelling at basketball, track and field, and football. He broke San Diego area receiving records, recording a 93-1,764-26 stat line in his final campaign with the Grizzlies. That senior year effort earned him a four-star recruitment rating (No. 54 ranked WR in the nation) and offers from 20 schools.

Ultimately, the SoCal kid committed to Ohio State and — after putting on 15 pounds of muscle between 2018 and 2019 — began to draw national attention. Olave recorded double-digit touchdowns in two of his final three years (only seven games in 2020 because of the abbreviated Covid season) as a Buckeye. He closed out his college career becoming the school’s most prolific touchdown grabber, logging 35 receiving TDs over his four years in Columbus.

Pros: Crisp and nuanced route runner, uncanny boundary awareness, strong hands

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Cons: Lacks the size to consistently produce on the outside, underwhelms after the catch

The Big Picture

Olave is one of the most complete receivers in this class. He consistently wins — not just with speed and athleticism — but also with polish and savvy. His experience as a special teams contributor has only helped to enhance his well-roundedness and football IQ. The intelligence with which he plays shows up everywhere, most notably in his route-running and boundary awareness. He is crisp, sudden and feline-esque in his movements, constantly forcing defenders (and officiating crews) to second-guess themselves.

Chris Olave #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is a top NFL draft prospect
Chris Olave is one of the most complete receivers to enter the NFL draft. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

From body control and ball tracking skills to reliable hands and fast feet, Olave is a QB’s best friend. He knows how to get open downfield and make big catches, as evidenced by a 4.7% career drop rate (third-lowest among 2022 prospects). If the 21-year-old underwhelms anywhere, it’s after the catch (3.34 YAC/REC). For a dude with 4.39 speed, he could be more of a threat in the open field. Still, his advanced technique and maturity should keep him inside the top-five players at the position drafted.

NFL Comp: Calvin Ridley

The Fantasy Fit

Like his college teammate Garrett Wilson, Olave has been linked to the Washington Commanders. The club has obvious ties to OSU, but Wilson to Washington feels like a better fit. Regardless, from an FF POV, it’s not an ideal landing spot for either wideout.

Instead, I’d like to see Olave end up in Dallas. His advanced route prowess would be more than welcome on the heels of Amari Cooper’s exit. Plus, the Cowboys don’t need Olave to be a YAC monster with CeeDee Lamb working as the team’s WR1. Volume could be an issue given the number of pass-catching weapons, but factoring in injuries and the up-and-down nature of the defense, Olave could be thrust into positive production.

Despite the dip in Dak Prescott’s pass attempts per game, the Cowboys were top-six in passing attempts (647). Even if the defense (with Dorance Armstrong replacing Randy Gregory) remains static, the offensive volume will be substantial enough to provide Olave with immediate fantasy value. FF: 77-926-5

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