Between signing as a free agent, being invited to rookie mini camp and being selected in the NFL Draft, Ohio State this year has put out 11 players with potential futures in the NFL. It is always fun to see how well rookies mesh with their new teams and the storylines that come along with it. I am focused on the first two Buckeyes called in this year’s draft in particular that I expect to go off in their first season.
Olave might be the guy I am most excited about. The New Orleans Buckeyes, — I mean, Saints — certainly love drafting players from Ohio State, so it will be especially entertaining to watch Olave set up on the line of scrimmage alongside fellow Buckeye Michael Thomas.
I could see Olave having a huge impact on the Saints’ offense this season. Quarterback Jameis Winston will finally get to step into the starting role (hopefully for a full season this year), and I think he is going to return to his Heisman form. After learning from Drew Brees, getting Lasik surgery and healing from his knee injury, he should be in prime condition to throw some nice passes to Olave.
It’s no secret that Winston has an extremely strong arm, which is a perfect match for Olave as a deep ball threat. Additionally, the Saints should have a healthy offensive line this season after suffering some injuries last year. They also drafted Trevor Penning at 19th overall to replace Terron Armstead at left tackle, who signed with the Dolphins in the offseason. As long as Winston is protected, I don’t see why he can’t succeed.
I am very intrigued to see the relationship that forms between Olave and Thomas. I should say that it has already formed, as the pair has already worked out together and have been texting back and forth, with Olave looking to Thomas as a mentor and role model. The guidance that Thomas will provide could be huge in helping to smooth the transition from college to NFL for Olave.
Okay, I might have lied before. I cannot wait to see Wilson step on the field as a New York Jet! I am extremely lucky to be a Jets fan (I’ve never said that before in my life), as NYJ went with two Buckeyes in the draft in Wilson and Jeremy Ruckert. While both will have big roles, I can see Wilson becoming WR1 very fast.
The Jets desperately needed to draft a great receiver. This past season, rookie QB Zach Wilson didn’t have many people to throw to, which ended up reflecting poorly on him (he had his fair share of mistakes too though, I must admit). Rookie Elijah Moore, who was taken in the second round of the 2021 draft, was the top receiver with 538 yards, and he was impressive.
However, the Jets don’t have too much beyond him. Braxton Berrios came on late in the season and really stepped up, as he was previously just on special teams. Corey Davis struggled to stay healthy, as did a few others. Therefore, the opportunity is wide open for Wilson to right the ship in the receiving room.
I said this a few months ago, but I am so excited for the Wilson to Wilson connection. Now that the offensive line has been strengthened and is healthy, Zach Wilson should have plenty of time in the pocket to nail Garrett Wilson with the strong and accurate arm he was highly touted for.
Garrett Wilson could end up as the rookie receiver with the most yards in the entire league. Yes, that is a bold statement. That means Zach Wilson will have to step up his game immensely from last season, and the Jets will actually have to be decent. I believe (optimistically) that both of these things could happen, resulting in major success for Garrett Wilson.