New Orleans Saints rookie evaluate: WR Chris Olave

Chris Olave was the extensive receiver the New Orleans Saints coveted all alongside through the 2022 NFL draft, and the workforce was over the moon to come back away with him final April. So what’s the sensation for his first 12 months within the professionals now that it’s all behind him? How do you grade Olave’s efficiency after he very practically reset the workforce’s rookie receiving information?

Let’s put a pin within the 2022 Saints rookie class by reviewing Olave’s marketing campaign, having beforehand meditated on his fellow first-year professionals Trevor Penning, Alontae Taylor, Rashid Shaheed, and Lewis Kidd. Right here’s our take:

Snap counts

Olave led the Saints receiving corps with 607 snaps performed on offense in his rookie 12 months; solely tight finish Juwan Johnson (648) and operating again Alvin Kamara (642) have been on the sector extra usually among the many abilities place gamers.

Season stats

Olave had the second-best rookie receiving output in franchise historical past, surpassing the nice Marques Colston to complete 72 receptions for 1,042 receiving yards with 4 landing catches and 48 first down conversions; solely Michael Thomas beat these numbers. On a per-game foundation, Olave averaged 4.8 receptions and 69.5 yards per outing, that are each nicely above common.

Professional Soccer Focus grade

PFF graded Olave because the workforce’s greatest participant on offense to log greater than 100 snaps, with an general grade of 82.5 (operating backs Eno Benjamin and Latavius Murray have been barely forward however they performed a mixed 38 snaps). A lot of Olave’s efficiency is because of his team-leading 82.9 grade on move performs, together with his common ranking as a run blocker (57.6) barely dropping him.

Season recap, future outlook

Olave was actually spectacular in his rookie debut. He set a excessive normal for himself shifting forwards and he’ll must work exhausting to not simply preserve it, however clear up the weaknesses in his recreation. The largest factor he must work on his growing a better ingredient of physicality — not simply as a run blocker out extensive, however when the ball is coming his approach. He wasn’t very efficient on contested catches (PFF charting had him catching 8 of 24 contested targets) and he solely averaged 3.0 yards after catch per reception. He in all probability must play at the next weight than his listed 189 kilos, however you don’t need him bulking up too far and shedding the velocity that helps make him particular.

Season grade

The Saints shared very excessive expectations for Olave after buying and selling as much as get him final spring, and he lived as much as them by making eye-popping catches nearly each week. And his ceiling continues to be very excessive if extra issues can enhance round him, like discovering an improve at quarterback and enhancing the general supporting forged on offense. However these are issues to ponder one other time. For now, there’s no different strategy to look again on Olave’s rookie season than as successful.

Grade: A

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire

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