Argument that NOLA Saints didn’t give up too much
The performance of the wide receiver position in the Saints offense in the 2021 season was abysmal. The loss of Michael Thomas to injury prior to the season combined with the release of Emmanuel Sanders left a void on the periphery of the Saints’ offense.
The leading receiver was Marquez Callaway, who played in all 17 games yet had only 46 catches for 698 yards. There were 51 other receivers in the league last year who finished with more yards.
The Saints went into the 2022 NFL Draft knowing that there needed to be a clear upgrade at that position and Olave, in addition to the return of Thomas, fulfills that need.
The urgency of drafting a wide receiver this year was even more crucial given what transpired in the free-agent market this offseason.
Starting with the outlandish Christian Kirk signing (four years, 84 million dollars) by the Jags followed by excessive contract demands and subsequent trades of Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, both of whom will make in the range of 30 million dollars annually on new contracts, the price-tag of wide receivers in the NFL has never been higher.
The Saints attempted to address the WR2 position with former Tiger Jarvis Landry, whose contract demands at the time prior to the draft were apparently too rich for Mickey Loomis and company.
New Orleans also needs to make a final decision on Jameis Winston over the course of the next two seasons. It was imperative to address the WR2 position opposite a healthy Michael Thomas to truly aid in that evaluation.
Winston, behind what is considered one of the better offensive lines in football, now has multiple playmakers in Thomas, Olave, Harris, Kamara, Ingram, as well as full-time TE Taysom Hill and now can be fully evaluated as the undisputed QB1 in the Saints offense.