NFL Draft: Eagles and Chris Olave? Daniel Jeremiah likes the pairing

·3 min read

Top draft analyst picks the most likely 1st-round WR for Eagles originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

If the Eagles draft a first-round receiver for the third straight year, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has an idea of who it might be.

While Ohio State’s Chris Olave has been linked to a lot of teams throughout the pre-draft process, Jeremiah thinks his most likely landing spot is Philadelphia.

“For Olave, I'll go with the Philadelphia Eagles,” Jeremiah said in a national conference call on Thursday. “They go back to the wide receiver well for the third year in a row. They've got two cracks at it, so I up my odds from that standpoint. But I would say I like him with Philadelphia. If not to Philadelphia, I like the team that's picking right behind them, the Saints.”

Olave (6-0, 187) had a tremendous career at Ohio State and capped it off with his best season in 2021. He had 65 catches for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior. In his four-year career he had 176/2,711/35, making him one of the most accomplished players in this draft class.

He’s a little slight in frame but is a very smooth and polished route runner. Sound familiar? Yes, there are certain similarities to the Eagles’ first-round pick in 2021, Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith.

Jeremiah, who once worked in the Eagles’ front office, has Olave ranked as his third receiver in this class behind Garrett Wilson (also Ohio State) and Drake London (USC). He thinks both of those players will be off the board by the time the Eagles pick at No. 15.

But he has Olave and Alabama’s Jameson Williams almost neck-and-neck. Olave is his No. 16 overall player in this draft class, while Williams is No. 17.

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Olave is the more polished of the two but Williams is an explosive player and incredible deep threat as his season at Alabama showed. But Olave is also healthy, while Williams is coming back from a torn ACL suffered in the National Championship Game.

Either way, it seems like the value would line up nicely for the Eagles if they want to draft one of them with a first-round pick. Jeremiah just likes Olave slightly more.

Why has Olave been linked to so many teams?

“I think the reason why you see him married with so many different teams in all these mock drafts is that he fits,” Jeremiah said. “He's a silky smooth route runner who can do so many different things. He tracks the ball really, really well. He's incredibly smart. Their coaches down there rave about him. They love him. He just needs to get a little bit stronger. That's kind of the one knock on Chris.

“… Everybody is kind of wide receiver obsessed this off-season, I think, so you can make a strong case with some of the movement that we've had that a lot of these teams are in the wide out market, whether they're trying to support a young quarterback or replace somebody who left. There's a lot of teams in the wide out market, so that's why you're seeing a bunch of these guys mixed in there, and Chris to me, he has a little bit of size to him, he's got outstanding speed. I don't know a team that wouldn't want to have him, that he wouldn't fit. I think that's why you see him kind of mocked in a lot of different areas.”