The New Orleans Saints were aggressive in moving up the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. They made a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles that included four first-round picks before the festivities got underway. They were not done making moves, as they also made a jump during the draft.
New Orleans traded up to the No. 11 spot, making a deal with the Washington Commanders. With that selection, the Saints picked Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave, who went one selection after his teammate Garrett Wilson, who landed with the New York Jets.
Olave will fill a major need for the Saints, who had a very underwhelming group of wide receivers last season. He should immediately slot into the starting lineup alongside Michael Thomas as long as he is healthy enough to get back on the field.
Outside of maybe Drake London, the No. 8 overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons, Olave may have landed in the best spot for a wide receiver looking to produce right away. London has to compete with tight end Kyle Pitts, who was the No. 4 overall pick in 2021 and possibly Cordarrelle Patterson if he is moved back to wide receiver from running back.
Over at ESPN, they believe Olave is in for a big rookie season. They are projecting him to be targeted 105 times, catching 62 passes for 903 yards and six scores. He is in for a big target share opposite of Thomas and offers some major upside for any Fantasy Football manager looking to find value in rookie pass catchers.
Olave has a chance to become the No. 1 target for Jameis Winston should Thomas fail to remain healthy. His versatility, as he can line up anywhere in the formation, and skill set are ready-made to succeed in the NFL.
Given how the Saints went about acquiring Olave, they clearly think highly of his skill set and will want to get him involved early and often. That is music to the ears of Fantasy Football managers, as Olave has a chance at FLEX production right out the gate and the potential to push into WR3 territory depending on how things with Thomas shake out.