5 early 2022 prospects for the Minnesota Vikings to watch
By Luke Parrish
Chris Olave – WR (Ohio State)
- Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 189 pounds
- 50 receptions
- 729 yards (14.6 YPC)
- 7 TDs
Ohio State pumps out wide receivers like nobody’s business and Chris Olave is one of many that will be next in line. He shined as Justin Fields’ favorite target a year ago. But his production should not fall off with Fields heading to the NFL before him. The Vikings may not have a dire need at wide receiver just yet, but Adam Thielen is not getting any younger.
A future of Olave and Justin Jefferson would be too fun to pass up. Olave is an elite deep threat with some insane burners in space, which he is not shy of exhibiting.
He is a constant threat to take the top off the defense and beat them with his speed down the field. That speed helped Olave rack up 19 touchdowns over his last 20 games.
While Olave does not bring the prototypical No. 1 wide receiver size, we have seen how little that matters in the current NFL. He is incredible with the ball in his hands and he does a great job of attacking the ball at the catch point rather than letting it meet his body.
The Vikings need a wide receiver to pair with Jefferson that can keep defenses honest. Olave’s deep presence and ability to climb the ladder for contested catches will do exactly that if he gets a chance to line up across from Jefferson.
His slim frame and ball security concerns do give me some pause as a first-round pick for a team with needs elsewhere, but Olave’s film speaks for itself. He’s going to be a star in the NFL once he arrives, which arguably should have been in 2021.
Similar to DeVonta Smith a year ago, Olave returned to school for his senior season to prove himself as one of the top receivers in his class. Although, he could have probably been a top-40 pick this year if he declared early.