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NFL Draft

Garrett Wilson vs Chris Olave: Who Should Be Ranked Higher?

  • The Draft Network
  • October 20, 2021
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The Ohio State Buckeyes have a handful of players that will have their name called on the first two days of the 2022 NFL Draft. Although they have produced many wide receivers that are playing in the NFL, they haven’t had one selected in the first round since 2007. However, they have a pair of wide receiver prospects who could have their names called on day one: Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave

Olave has been a projected first-round pick since before the season began. He has sufficient-level size at 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds. He is a fluid route-runner who is a bit of a strider. However, he’s much faster than he appears and creates separation and defeats angles when he’s in the open field. He also demonstrates good natural hands to secure the catch away from his frame. Although he has a track background, he is a football player that doesn’t shy away when contact is imminent. There are instances of him catching in-breaking routes, 6 routes, and others while the safety is bearing down on him. 

However, I have a few concerns. 

He could play with more physicality in certain situations. My other concern is that he needs to continue to develop as an overall route-runner. He won’t beat everyone with speed in the NFL so getting creative against man coverage will serve him well. 

Wilson is the other receiver on Ohio State who is garnering quite the buzz. He is 6-foot and 192 pounds, so his size is comparable to Olave. His background is also intriguing and likely contributes to his upside as a receiver. He was a prominent high school basketball player and grew up on the AAU circuit in Texas. You can definitely see this in his ability as a route-runner. His lateral agility and quickness translate to elite separation quickness at the top of the route. I have no reservations about his ability as a hands-catcher. 

Wilson is a big play waiting to happen and is dangerous both before the ball is thrown and after it is caught. He has the type of game-breaking ability to catch a shallow cross underneath and turn it into a big play. Furthermore, Wilson has dynamic ability in the kicking game as well. His elusiveness and dynamic ability in space make him a viable option in that area in the NFL. 

For me, Wilson is the superior of the two Ohio State wide receivers based on his ability both before and after the catch. He’s far more dangerous with the ball in his hands. Wilson also has better inside-outside flexibility. He’s someone who could play both the Z position and in the slot. It feels to me like Wilson is capable of doing everything that Olave can, while Olave would struggle to do the things that make Wilson great. If Olave doesn’t develop more creativity and nuance as a route-runner, he may struggle to have the type of success he’s had at Ohio State at the next level. 

While both players could be picked in Round 1 and Olave could turn out to be the better pro of the two, the NFL is a league where value is predicated upon the number of things you can do. This favors Wilson. What he can do with pro coaching makes Wilson the more attractive option with more upside in the NFL.

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