In a way-too-early redraft of the 2022 NFL Draft, the NOLA Saints don’t end up with Chris Olave in the first round. What would have happened if he was already off the board?
As we all know, the Saints made a draft-day trade that moved them up from the No. 16 pick to the No. 11 pick where they nabbed the Ohio State product. There was already a run on wide receivers going on at that point and New Orleans wanted to make sure they got the guy they wanted.
In this redraft, however, Davenport doesn’t do any of the trades that weren’t critical so New Orleans only held one pick. He didn’t account for any draft-day trades either so Washington was on the clock at No. 11 and grabbed Olave there.
"Olave never had a 1,000-yard season in Columbus, but he was a consistently productive player with a nose for the end zone. Over four years, Olave scored a whopping 35 touchdowns."
As for the Saints’ actual pick at No. 18, Davenport had them go with another wide receiver — Jameson Williams out of Alabama, who ended up going one pick after Olave in real life. Detroit had moved up to nab the Crimson Tide product.
For this selection, Davenport said:
"A healthy Williams would give the Saints a downfield threat who’s capable of taking the top off defenses—a target that Winston’s big arm would be more than capable of hitting."
NOLA Saints miss on Chris Olave, select Jameson Williams in redraft
Davenport says in his writeup of this pick that Saints fans would have groaned had things actually gone down this way but I’m not so sure about that. Fans wanted to see the team spend a first-round pick on a receiver and they weren’t really all that picky as to which one fell to them.
Williams’ red flag was that he was injured in the National Championship game against Georgia and that might have been the only reason fans were weary of the pick. Michael Thomas had dealt with injuries the previous two years and now another recently injured receiver was on his way to the team.
Truthfully, I didn’t really care which receiver the team spent their first-round pick on — I was just happy to see them finally address it early on in the draft after ignoring it for several years. They also added Jarvis Landry in free agency weeks later, further improving the position.
How would you have felt had the Saints gone this route?