After Further Review: Five takes on Chris Olave & Trevor Penning
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take One: Grading the pick (Olave)
With the first draft night trade, the Saints struck a deal with Washington to go from 16 to 11 and grab Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave.
Dennis Allen said the Saints felt they had to make the move to get Olave. At that time two receivers had just come off the board and the Saints weren’t going to wait around to see if he would be available at 16. Allen said he’s the one guy they knew exactly what they were getting with his skillset.
As for the prospect, Olave is dynamic with supreme speed to get downfield and crisp, sharp route-running skills. He’s been incredibly productive during his four-year stay in Columbus. Last year, he had 65 receptions, 936 yards and 13 touchdowns. For his career, he had an Ohio State record 35 touchdowns.
His skillset should blend well with Jameis Winston’s ability to throw it downfield. Bottom line, the Saints addressed their biggest deficiency from a season ago with a player should be able to make an instant impact.
Take Two: Grading the pick (Penning)
At 19, the Saints landed Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning, the player many had linked to the Saints throughout the process. The only difference is many, like myself, had him going at 16 instead of 19. Allen even said they were holding their breath a little bit when their pick came around and he was still available.
Penning makes sense. He’s 6′7, 325 pounds with a mean streak. Being a small school product, Penning had to blow up the pre-draft circuit, which he did. For many, he first came on the scene during the Senior Bowl.
Allen said Penning will compete at left tackle, while Ryan Ramczyk will stay on the right side. Penning will be able to compete for a starting job right away though he didn’t sound like that’s a guarantee at least from week one given the jump he’s making from FCS to the NFL. The team still has James Hurst the can use at the position.
Eventually though, the team sees Penning as their left tackle for years to come.
Take Three: Saints stay dealing
‘Is this the year the Saints finally trade back in the first round?’
They fall for it everytime. I, myself, always seem to come up with a scenario every year where it could finally be the year they deal back but would never be foolish enough to say it on the air. History suggests otherwise, and it repeated itself Thursday.
The Saints did what they always do: trade up and aggressively get the player they have a true conviction on.
In this case, it was Olave. To get him, the Saints surrendered their third and fourth round pick. That tells you all you need to know about how confidently they feel about him.
Many thought the Saints big move a few weeks ago with Philadelphia was the precursor to another move to package 16 & 19 to go even further up to take a quarterback. That was never going to happen. But many of us expected a more moderate move up to get a specific player they targeted while still maintaining two first round picks total.
Take Four: Belief in the Bigs
The Saints draft philosophy of building through the line of scrimmage continued Thursday. With Jeff Ireland on board, they’ve now gone eight straight years of taking an offensive or defensive lineman in the first or second round of the draft.
2015- Andrus Peat
2016- Sheldon Rankins
2017- Ryan Ramczyk
2018- Marcus Davenport
2019- Erik McCoy
2020- Cesar Ruiz
2021- Payton Turner
2022- Trevor Penning
That’s not by accident. What it really boils down to is a strong belief in investing in the trenches. There are only so many players with that kind of size and athleticism walking the face of the Earth. The Saints stayed true to that philosophy by taking Penning .
Take Five: Other Observations
- The Saints broke the seal on trades. They were first team to move up in the draft. After that deal, it felt like there were at least seven trades right away.
- Ohio State South is real. The Saints love the Columbus-to-New Orleans pipeline.
- Allen called it a ‘helluva night’ after landing both Olave and Penning.
- With the Olave trade, the Saints now have three picks left in the second, fifth and sixth rounds.
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