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Ohio State Pipeline Continues To Flow After New Orleans Saints Draft Wide Receiver Chris Olave

Olave is now the sixth former Buckeye on the Saints' roster, which includes All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas.

Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine back in early March, former Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave said he leaned on New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas for advice on how to handle the pre-draft process.

“He is a great role model to me and one of the best receivers in the game,” Olave said. “He’s an Ohio State legend, so just to be able to communicate with him and send texts back and forth and see from his perspective what to expect and just to be able to use him as a guy to lean on, that’s huge.”

Little did he know the two would be soon become teammates, as the Saints selected Olave with the No. 11 overall pick in last month’s NFL Draft, making him the sixth former Buckeye on the roster, joining Thomas, tight end Nick Vannett, linebacker Pete Werner and cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Bradley Roby.

“I can’t wait,” Olave said during a post-draft interview with reporters. “They told me in the process they love the Buckeyes, so I knew it was going to be a good fit for me playing alongside Mike. I’m glad we got that pipeline going and I can’t wait to go out there and compete with him. I’m already a huge competitor, so we’re just going to get better each and every day.”

Olave and former wide receiver Garrett Wilson often talked about their relationship in the same manner, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see them come off the board with back-to-back picks in the first round, with Wilson going to the New York Jets at No. 10 overall. 

They're now going their separate ways, of course. But in another unexpected twist of fate, they were able to share one last moment together in the green room after finding out their respective destinations. 

“Garrett was right next to my little area, so right when Garrett got drafted, I’m over there with him trying to congratulate him,” Olave said. “Then I got a call right away from New Orleans right after he got drafted. I had no idea they were going to trade up. When I got that call, that’s when my dreams turned into reality.”

Moments later, the Detroit Lions selected Jameson Williams, who started his career at Ohio State before transferring to Alabama, where he became a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver.

That marked just the second time in school history that three teammates went back to back to back after quarterback Joe Burrow, defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeff Okudah were taken with the first three picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.

“I’d say you were lying,” Olave said when . “We never thought this would happen, but we just want to be the best. I can’t wait to see what they do in the league ... At the end of the day, we just make each other better and wish the best for each other. That’s all you can hope for.”

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