Name: Chris Olave
Position: Wide receiver
School: Ohio State
Ht/Wt: 6-0, 187
40-yard dash: 4.39
Bench: Did not bench
Vertical: 32 inches
Broad: 124 inches
3-cone: Did not run
20-yard shuttle: Did not run
View photos of NFL prospect Chris Olave.
How he fits: Olave is one of the better all-around receivers in a very strong class of pass catchers. He is an inside/outside hybrid with speed to stretch the field, but he's also a smooth route runner with the ability to be a high-target player from either spot.
He was a second-team AP All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten performer this past year after catching 65 passes for 936 yards (14.4 average) in 12 starts with 13 touchdowns. He was also named a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award for excellence on and off the field.
The Lions have some depth at receiver after signing DJ Chark in free agency and re-signing Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond. They join rookie standout Amon-Ra-St. Brown and third-year receiver Quintez Cephus as Detroit's top five at the position heading into the offseason training program.
Still, with this being such a deep class, the Lions could be looking to add another receiver and make it a really competitive room. Wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El said this offseason he wanted to build a really competitive group by signing a free agent (Chark) and drafting one or two players at the position.
Olave can stand to add some muscle to his frame, but he's a smooth and versatile pass catcher who can have an immediate impact in the NFL because of his speed and route running ability.
Key observations: Olave tied for sixth in the FBS with 13 receiving touchdowns this past season to become the school's all-time leader in the category. His 35 beat out NFL stars David Boston, Cris Carter and Santonio Holmes, and are the fourth most in conference history. He also ranks third in school history in receptions with 176 and fifth in receiving yards with 2,711. His 11 career 100-yard receiving contests are second in school history.
What they had to say about him: "A three-year starter at Ohio State, Olave was the Z receiver in head coach Ryan Day's multiple spread offense. Despite never reaching 1,000 yards receiving in a season, his production was steady, and he finished his career as the Buckeyes' all-time leader in touchdown catches (35), passing David Boston. Olave is a smooth route runner with the downfield speed and tracking instincts to consistently win as a deep threat.
"He knows how to create spacing in his routes and won't waste steps out of his breaks, but he isn't a tackle-breaker and doesn't show the same elusiveness after the catch. Overall, Olave has an average body type and marginal play strength, but he is a polished pass catcher with dependable ball skills and a unique feel for pacing coverage. He projects as a starting Z receiver and a productive WR2 on the depth chart in the NFL." – Dane Brugler, The Athletic
View photos from offseason workouts on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.
How he stacks up: Brugler lists Olave as his fourth best receiver in this class behind teammate Garrett Wilson (Ohio State), Jameson Williams (Alabama) and Drake London (USC). He comes in at No. 17 on Brugler's list of the Top 100 prospects.
He's No. 16 on Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50, and his third highest ranked receiver. Olave comes in at No. 5 in Bucky Brooks' ranking of the top five receivers.
He's No. 17 in Scouts Inc.'s rankings, and No. 14 on Mel Kiper Jr's Big Board.
What he had to say: "I really looked up to (DeSean Jackson) as a football player growing up," Olave said at the Combine earlier this offseason. "All the deep touchdowns he had, the 75-yard touchdowns he had, I try to put that into my game as a deep threat. And he had that swag too coming from California where I'm from, so I definitely looked up to him. And still today I look up to him."