Chris Olave, Demario Davis make ESPN’s list of top-100 most valuable players

A pair of New Orleans Saints playmakers were listed in the top 100 most valuable players of the 2022 season by ESPN’s Seth Walder, and their inclusion shouldn’t surprise anyone. Rookie wide receiver Chris Olave made an instant impact on the Saints offense this year, and veteran linebacker Demario Davis continued to show off what makes him special.

It’s just the latest bright light to shine on their performance, which is a welcome silver lining after what ended up being a very difficult season to sit through. Olave is a finalist for the NFL’s Rookie of the Year award, and he’s a betting favorite for recognition as the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Davis was selected for the Pro Bowl for the first time in his NFL career, and he again earned a spot on the AP All-Pro list.

Here’s what Walder had to say of Olave’s selection at No. 69 overall:

“Olave’s superb rookie season was obfuscated by poor quarterback play. But make no mistake, the former Ohio State receiver was exceptional. His Receiver Tracking Metrics overall score was 77 — tied for 10th-best — and his 2.5 yards per route run ranked eighth-best in the league despite playing with Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton. Olave, in my view, is the Offensive Rookie of the Year.”

Olave is one of 16 wide receivers to make the cut, and he has a tough climb ahead in ascending the ranks given all of the talent stacked up at that position these days. But he’s in a great spot to stand out if the Saints can find him a quarterback. As for Davis: the Pro Bowl linebacker was one of seven linebackers featured on ESPN’s list, though he just got in at No. 93. Davis is aging like a fine wine (he recently celebrated his 34th birthday) and continues to play like someone New Orleans can rely on as Olave begins his own impressive career.

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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire