GREEN BAY, Wis. – Forgive USA Today’s Nate Davis for not knowing the Green Bay Packers’ history in picking Ohio State receiver Chris Olave in his latest mock draft.
“No, the Pack haven’t drafted a receiver in Round 1 since former Brett Favre favorite Sterling Sharpe in 1988. Yes, this should be the year they’ll need to strongly consider it, most especially with the pick acquired in the show-stopping deal for Adams, who had 110 catches in three of the past four seasons. Olave’s speed and smooth route running could eventually make him a clear-cut No. 1 option, not to mention his ability to find the end zone – that occurring 32 times in his last 33 games for the Buckeyes.”
Actually, the Packers haven’t drafted a first-round receiver since Javon Walker in 2002. Whatever, it’s been a long time and that figures to change with the Packers getting additional first- and second-round picks in the Davante Adams trade.
In four seasons, Olave (6-1, 188) caught 176 passes for 2,711 yards and a school-record 35 touchdowns. He ran his 40 in 4.39 at the Scouting Combine.
Davis went with Olave at No. 22, the pick obtained from the Raiders. So did PFF’s Mike Renner.
“With Davante Adams' move to Las Vegas, the Packers should invest as much possible in their receiver room. Olave is one of the most pro-ready receivers in this class and should have an immediate positive effect on the passing offense,” Renner wrote in also mocking Olave to Green Bay at No. 22.
With Green Bay’s pick at No. 28, Davis went with Michigan edge defender David Ojabo. Ojabo suffered a torn Achilles at Michigan’s pro day this week. There’s a chance he won’t play this season, though Rams running back Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles just before the start of training camp in July and was back for the end of the regular season and run to the Super Bowl.
With Preston Smith and Rashan Gary, Green Bay does not need an instant starter. What it needs is credible depth. That was the winning approach taken when general manager Brian Gutekunst drafted Gary in the first round in 2019 after signing Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith.
A second-team All-American as a junior in 2021, Ojabo was a one-year wonder. He was a scout-team player in 2019, had one tackle in six games in 2020 and 11 sacks in 2021. He’s got a tremendous get-off but will be a work in progress – not unlike another former Michigan player, Gary.
Ojabo was born in Nigeria, grew up in Scotland and moved to the United States in hopes of taking “the next step” as an athlete. At Blair Academy, a private school in New Jersey, a fellow student persuaded him to try football. That student was Odafe Oweh, who wound up starring at Penn State and was a first-round draft pick last year.
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