Saints’ Chris Olave and Falcons’ Drake London both touted to make big impacts
By Kristen Wong
The New Orleans Saints knew they drafted a good one in Chris Olave, and the rookie wideout is set out to impress in his first year in the league.
Olave offers without a doubt the most upside in the Saints’ current wideout room with Michael Thomas still rehabbing and Jarvis Landry coming off a down year. For many fans, Olave is the answer to the prayer they’ve been hoping for this offseason, and Olave has the talent and potential to make a monumental impact in Year 1.
The Athletic’s NFL Draft experts shared their thoughts on the most influential rookies in 2022 and predicted both Saints’ Olave and Falcons’ London to enjoy successful Year 1 campaigns.
Nate Tice had this to say about the NOLA Saints rookie:
"Chris Olave’s smooth route running and ball skills should translate nicely to the next level with the New Orleans Saints. Plus, Jameis Winston’s willingness to push the ball, a possible early-season suspension for Alvin Kamara and a receiver room built with mostly super role players with arrows pointing up (Deonte Harty) and down (Jarvis Landry) should allow Olave’s pro-ready game to take advantage of opportunities early and often — especially if Michael Thomas is still working his way back from injury."
Dane Brugler, however, gave his vote for rookie with the biggest immediate impact to Drake London:
"Marcus Mariota is a bridge quarterback, but beyond tight end Kyle Pitts, Atlanta’s pass-catching depth chart is uninspiring, which should help give London the most targets among all rookie receivers."
New Orleans Saints have high expectations for Chris Olave in 2022
Olave’s situation certainly looks better than London’s in Atlanta. Whereas Olave can thrive under Jameis Winston’s strong arm, London has middling passers in Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder, two unproven signal-callers who could see their 2022 seasons quickly go up in smoke.
While Olave may have to fight for targets with Thomas and Landry, there’s a higher chance opponents would double team the former Offensive Player of the Year (assuming he’s healthy) and let Olave get more open looks.
The Saints’ rookie wideout may not get anywhere near 2021 rookie Ja’Marr Chase’s numbers, but Olave can nonetheless put together a solid season in which he makes an immediate impact in the passing attack.
Between Olave and London, our money’s on Olave hauling in more receiving yards and scoring more touchdowns. That Saints’ offense sure is looking scary in 2022.