New Orleans Saints rookie Chris Olave is doing all that he can to earn a place in the NFL as he pulled off an incredible catch during training camp.
The New Orleans Saints are certainly in a bit of a transition period right now when it comes to what the franchise is going to look like in the long run. Having said goodbye to franchise quarterback Drew Brees at the end of the 2020 season, they had to do the same to head coach Sean Payton at the end of 2021, the two men who resurrected the organisation after the disaster that was Hurricane Katrina and the impact it had on the city.
The team have appointed a new head coach in Dennis Allen this season, but what the team looks like at quarterback going forward is still something of a mystery. They have Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Ian Book and utility player Taysom Hill already on the roster, but whilst Winston is listed as the team’s starter, it isn’t necessarily a guarantee that he’ll hold that position over the next few years.
There was some talk that the team might look to take a quarterback in this year’s draft, possibly with the view of grooming him for the future, something that was possible with two first-round picks. Instead, they went with wide receiver Chris Olave with their first pick at #13 and offensive tackle Trevor Penning at #19.
Looking to separate from the pack
Wide receivers were all the rage during the 2022 NFL Draft, with 6 of them taken in the first round and 28 taken overall as teams look to find the next great offensive weapons after a recent explosion in top-class receivers coming out of college in recent years.
Olave, out of Ohio State, was the 3rd wide receiver taken off the board, after Drake London went to the Atlanta Falcons and Garrett Wilson was taken by the New York Jets. But whilst he was the 3rd man taken, that shouldn’t be an indictment against him, as his numbers in college show he’s very capable of playing at an NFL level.
During his time with the Buckeyes, he put up 175 catches that turned into 2,702 receiving yards and 35 touchdowns (as per Sports Reference), earning 1st-Team Big Ten honours in both 2020 and 2021.
Saints draft Ohio State WR Chris Olave No. 11 overall— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 29, 2022
Olave & Thomas gonna be a scary duo 👀 pic.twitter.com/7FpYlbGEMr
And it looks as if those incredible hands are already showing they can adapt to the NFL with an incredible catch he made during training camp.
Showing promise early on
In footage posted by Saints fan @SoulSaint1, Olave can be seen making an impressive leaping catch over the head of safety C. J. Gardner-Johnson, before holding onto the ball any way that he can as he maintains possession heading to the ground:
PLAY OF THE DAY. OLAVE WITH THE SUPER CATCH OVER C J FOR THE TOUCHDOWN. pic.twitter.com/FoIHWK8jKC— SOUL SAINT (@SoulSaint1) August 10, 2022
The catch is somewhat reminiscent of the one by former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant with the way the ball was held up against his body:
Martavis Bryant’s catch was one of the best of all time. The flip, control of the ball, incredible. The catch Hopkins made one of the best in 2018 but Bryant’s is an all time great. #HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/UiiJ7Q7UnO— Steel Legends (@Steel_Legends) October 26, 2018
Now we just have to wait and see whether or not Olave can transition his skills onto the professional level, but if this clip is anything to go by, he shouldn’t have any problems at all.