Saints trade up to 11th pick, select Ohio State WR Chris Olave

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Chris Olave

What’s a draft night without the Saints trading up?

New Orleans moved up from the No. 16 pick to No. 11 to select Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave on Thursday night during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Washington Commanders received the Saints’ No. 16, 98 and 120 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft in exchange for the 11th overall pick.

The Saints filled a need for speed and playmaking ability at the receiver position, choosing a Buckeye one pick after another Ohio State wideout – Garrett Wilson – went off the board 10th overall to the New York Jets.

Olave, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, had a career-high 13 receiving touchdowns in 2021 and a total of 35 in his college career.

The 6-foot, 187 pounder stretches the field with sub-4.4 speed while creating separation at all levels: The quiet storm of the Ohio State wide receiver corps, Olave is smooth, steady and makes things happen. His movements are fluid and easy from snap to the catch and all points between. He’s fast but efficient and plays with the bend and foot agility to uncover on all three levels. Olave possesses natural, well-rounded ball skills but needs to add play strength to ward off the physical challenges that are headed his way. His play traits should allow for success beyond the scheme and talent advantages surrounding him at Ohio State. He is an inside/outside hybrid appealing to offenses looking for a field-stretcher with the ability to take on a sizable catch load.

Ironically,’s draft profile also compares Olave to another ex-Ohio State receiver, Washington’s Terry McLaurin.

Olave joins former Buckeyes star Michael Thomas as the expected starting receivers for the Saints in 2022.

With the 19th overall selection in this year’s draft, New Orleans grabbed Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning. The Saints made a trade with Philadelphia weeks before the draft to secure another first round choice.

New Orleans Saints 2022 NFL Draft
Round One Notes

• With the 11th pick overall, which was acquired from the Washington Commanders tonight in exchange for the 16th, 98th and 120th overall picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, New Orleans selected Ohio State WR Chris Olave and with the 19th pick, they selected Northern Iowa T Trevor Penning.
• This was the seventh time in franchise history that New Orleans selected two players in the first round of the NFL Draft. The other years this occurred was 2017 (CB Marshon Lattimore and T Ryan Ramczyk), 2015 (G Andrus Peat and LB Stephone Anthony), 2011 (DE Cameron Jordan and RB Mark Ingram), 2002 (DE Charles Grant and WR Donte’ Stallworth), 1993 (T William Roaf and TE Irv Smith) and 1975 (WR Larry Burton and G Kurt Schumacher).
• Olave was the first wideout taken in the first round by New Orleans since Brandin Cooks in 2014.
• Olave is only the eighth wide receiver taken in the first round by New Orleans all-time and the 71st wideout selected by the club all-time.
• Olave is the 17th Ohio State player picked in draft by New Orleans. The 17 Buckeyes picked in the first round are tied for the most by the Saints with Nebraska and Southern California.
• Olave joins fellow Buckeyes in CB Marshon Lattimore, WR Michael Thomas and TE Nick Vannett on the Saints roster.
• In four seasons at Ohio State, Olave finished his college career with 176 receptions for 2,711 yards (15.4 avg.) with 35 touchdowns over 47 games (24 starts).
• In 2021 as a senior, Olave was a first-team American Football Coaches Association All-American and consensus second-team All-American, catching 65 passes for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns, tied for sixth nationally in scoring grabs.
• As a junior in 2020, the San Ysidro, Calif. native played in only seven games (seven starts) and managed 50 receptions for 729 yards (14.6 avg.) and seven touchdowns, as Ohio State advanced to the College Football Playoff Championship game. In the semifinal win over Clemson, Olave caught six passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
• As a sophomore in 2019, Olave caught 49 passes for 849 yards (17.3 avg.) and 12 touchdowns.
• With the selection of Penning, it is the second time in three years that New Orleans has selected an offensive lineman in the first round of the NFL Draft after picking G/C Cesar Ruiz in 2020. Penning is the eighth tackle to be picked by New Orleans in the first round, joining Ryan Ramczyk (2017), Andrus Peat (2015), Jammal Brown (2005), Kyle Turley (1998), Roaf, Jim Dombrowski (1986) and Stan Brock (1980). He is the 44th tackle selected all-time by New Orleans.
• Penning is the first player ever selected from Northern Iowa. Northern Iowa is the 172nd college or university that the Saints have selected a player from.
• The 6-7, 329-pound Penning Played in 37 career games with 33 starts, opening his final 33 college contests at Northern Iowa.
• In 2021, he opened all 12 contests and was a consensus FCS All-American selection. He was a consensus All-American and was the only offensive lineman named as a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, presented to the FCS national offensive player of the year.
• The Clear Lake, Iowa native played his junior campaign in the spring of 2021 and started five games at left tackle and one at right tackle, as he was named honorable mention All-Missouri Valley Football Conference.

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