Patriots: 3 way-too-early 2022 NFL Draft prospects we’re eyeing
By Mike Luciano
1. WR Chris Olave, Ohio State
Olave could’ve been a Day 2 pick with the potential to become a first-rounder if he tested well in this cycle, but he returned to Ohio State with the expectation that he could become the top receiver in the 2022 class. Judging from what he was able to do with Ryan Day and Justin Fields last season, it’s easy to see where the hype was from.
Olave and Garrett Wilson will both be hyped prospects, but Olave might be better for New England. While Wilson is the better athlete, Olave is the best route-runner. Throw in some amazing hands and the ability to make plays as a runner, and he can be an instant contributor.
How would Chris Olave help the Patriots?
Olave wouldn’t struggle to get playing time. Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne are solid receivers, but Olave’s star potential could easily put him over the edge. In base three-wide sets, don’t be surprised if Agholor bumps inside to the slot full-time and Olave starts killing it on the outside.
The Patriots need to give Mac Jones support, as 2022 looks like it’ll be his first full season as the starting quarterback. What better gift could Belichick get for his young quarterback than a sure-handed receiver with good speed and terrific route-running? Belichick stinks at drafting receivers, but Olave is too good to pass up.