Chris Olave was a 3-star prospect from Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, California, where he was a three-sport athlete (he also played basketball and ran track). The San Marcos native earned offers from Tennessee, Michigan, and USC. He ultimately chose Ohio State. As a freshman in 2018, Olave had his production muted playing alongside Parris Campbell, J.K. Dobbins, and Terry McLaurin. After McLaurin and Campbell left Ohio State, Olave broke out - in his second season as a Buckeye.
Olave was efficient in that sophomore season. He averaged 17.5 yards per reception while leading the team in receiving yards (840) by a wide margin. The next closest receiver had 636 yards. Olave established a high yardage floor on relatively low target volume, posting 50 receiving yards or greater in 9 of his 13 games. In his junior year, Covid caused the Big Ten to shorten the regular season. In the abbreviated season, Olave led the team in receptions (50) and receiving yards (729). That was all while sharing the field with Jameson Williams and Garrett Wilson.
2021 was Chris Olave’s senior season and his least productive statistically. He fell from being the reception and yardage leader the previous season to being the No. 3 wide receiver on his team, ceding the top spot to sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba. He still maintained a Yards Per Reception greater than 14 for the fourth year in a row. Olave earned an invite to the Senior Bowl, but chose not to attend. He likely was aware of his NFL Draft value and felt he didn't need to prove anything else.
Olave was selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. In his first year as an NFL player, he played in 15 games and earned a 26.7-percent (No. 15) Target Share. He operated as New Orleans’ No. 1 receiver most of the season (with Michael Thomas hurt) and finished with 72 receptions for 1042 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. Olave’s potential for even more production flashed as he recorded a 40.8-percent (No. 3) Air Yards Share, with 845 (No. 5) Unrealized Air Yards. Derek Carr replaces Andy Dalton as the Saints’ QB for 2023. While this isn’t a huge upgrade for Olave, his year two and beyond potential is sky-high.