2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Chris Olave

Photo: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports


Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave is one of the 2021 NFL Draft’s most refined prospects. A true route technician, Olave has illustrated high levels of football IQ and is the latest product of an Ohio State Buckeyes program that is churning out high-level prospects under the watch of wide receivers coach Brian Hartline. Olave lacks the physical stature to be a dominant possession receiver in traffic and his worst moments do seem to come when contested or looking to high-point footballs in traffic, but an accurate passer will be able to feed him the football on schedule and allow Olave’s high-end separation skills to shine in the pro game. Olave took advantage of a higher market share of targets in 2020 and was the clear and obvious preferred target of quarterback Justin Fields in the passing game. Olave’s route-running and releases will offer him a strong chance to translate to just about any passing system in the league—it will be more so a preference of whether or not Olave plays inside or outside depending on team by team preferences for measurables on the perimeter. Expectations for Olave should fall in line with some of the other successful rookies in recent years: an immediate impact on his new team in 2021. 

Ideal Role: Traditional Z-receiver (working vertically) and an ideal WR2.

Scheme Fit: Scheme transcendent route-running ability.

Written by Kyle Crabbs

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Written By:

Kyle Crabbs

Director of Scouting

Kyle Crabbs is the Director of Scouting for The Draft Network. Prior to his time with TDN, Kyle worked for seven years as the founder of his own third-party scouting service, NDT Scouting. Providing media coverage and also consultation services for agencies, Crabbs penned an annual NFL Draft Prospectus featuring 300+ player profiles on an annual basis from 2014-2020. Crabbs is currently the co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast with fellow TDN scout Joe Marino and helps coordinate TDN's national scouting effort.

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