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Rookie receiver Chris Olave is exactly the player New Orleans Saints expected him to be

'A guy that was really fast, smooth in transition, good route runner'

New Orleans Saints players attended Day 2 of Rookie Minicamp afternoon workouts with a practice at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center on May 14, 2022.

The exposure has been brief but so far, Chris Olave has played to form.

That's a good thing.

In his second day on the field with the New Orleans Saints, during Saturday's rookie minicamp, Olave, the first of the Saints' two first-round draft picks (No. 11 overall), fit in as expected of the player that New Orleans traded up to get, from No. 16.

"Same things that we saw on tape," Coach Dennis Allen said. "A guy that was really fast, smooth in transition, good route runner. And ultimately he's the type of character person that we wanted to bring into the building, and I think that's as important as anything."

"That's huge coming from the head coach," Olave said. "They believe in me, they see a lot in me but I feel like I can keep getting better and better. I feel like I haven't reached my potential yet at the NFL level. It's just my second day, so I'm ready to keep getting better."

Along with the desired character comes the needed production: In Olave's senior season at Ohio State, he caught 65 passes for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns. His 35 touchdowns at Ohio State are a school record.

Olave said processing the information given so far has gone smoothly.

"As the playbook goes, I feel like I'm good with the playbook," he said. "I feel like that comes to me easy and once I read it on the field and get it through walkthroughs, I feel like I'm good."

He also is prepared to enhance his reputation as a receiver who avoids drops.

"That's something I take pride in," he said. "As a receiver you don't want to drop the ball at all, and I carry myself in that I don't want to drop any passes. If I drop a pass, that's going to haunt me the whole day and even into the next day. That's what I pride myself in, I don't want to put nothin' on the ground. That's how you build a quarterback's trust."

HONEY FIT IS SWEET: In Allen's first public comments since safety Tyrann Mathieu signed a three-year deal with the Saints, he acknowledged Mathieu's extensive charitable and mentoring contributions and said Mathieu should be a good fit with the Saints.

"He's here because he's a really good football player," Allen said of the three-time All-Pro. "He's a play-maker. We feel like he's still got a lot of good football left in him and we feel like he's got some of the leadership qualities that maybe we lose out on when we lose a guy like Malcolm Jenkins (to retirement). So I think that was important to be able to get a guy like that."

Mathieu's versatility also provides a bonus, Allen said.

"It just allows us to be a little bit more multiple. I think it allows us to hold our disguises a little bit better. I like the versatility of having guys that can play both in the front and in the back end."

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