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Saints trade up for WR Chris Olave, grab OT Trevor Penning in draft's first round

Olave's production has gone up every year at Ohio State, culminating in an outstanding 2021 stat line of 65 catches for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns.

NEW ORLEANS — The Saints added some serious firepower to their offense Thursday night, trading up to grab Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave with the No. 11 overall pick and drafting massive offensive tackle Trevor Penning at No. 19.

The Saints clearly wanted Olave. They traded up for the No. 11 pick, sending their 16th pick, a third-round and a fourth-round pick to Washington, according to NFL Reporter Albert Breer.

"I talked with the Saints a lot through this draft process. They have a really good coaching staff. It's a really good organization over there," Olave said.

Olave's most defining trait is his route running savvy, which is the primary reason he has been considered a first round talent for two years. Olave's production has gone up every year at Ohio State, culminating in an outstanding 2021 stat line of 65 catches for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The Saints turned to their offensive line next, drafting Trevor Penning, an offensive tackle out of Northern Iowa, with the 19th overall pick.

Penning is a monster of a man, standing at 6-foot-7, and weighing 325 pounds. Penning received a 99.9 run blocking grade in 2021, which is the highest ever charted by Pro Football Focus. He also holds the Northern Iowa school record in the squat, at an almost disbelieving 625 pounds. 

The concern around Penning is whether or not his success will translate to the NFL level. While at Northern Iowa, Penning almost exclusively played FCS opponents, the vast majority of whom are not NFL caliber players.

   

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