Let’s get the 2022 NFL draft intrigue started. The New Orleans Saints sent a “large contingent” of personnel to take in the Ohio State Buckeyes pro day on Wednesday, per Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, with NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill clarifying that both Saints head coach Dennis Allen and assistant general manager/college scouting director Jeff Ireland were in attendance. Pauline adds that the Saints were one of several teams to have their wide receivers coach (the recently-hired Kodi Burns) in attendance, along with the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and New England Patriots.
And Pauline also said that these four teams have been focused on two specific prospects in the upcoming draft, meeting privately with first-round wide receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson in recent days. Olave and Wilson were catching passes thrown by top 2023 quarterback prospect C.J. Stroud and former Buckeyes star Cardale Jones, and while plenty of their talented teammates were also working out, they were the main attraction.
Either of them would be a welcome addition in New Orleans, and it’s telling that the Saints sent two of their top decision-makers and the position coach to evaluate their options at this workout. Wilson had a better 2021 season, benefiting from the attention Olave demanded defenses give him after leading the Buckeyes in receiving yards the previous two years, but he’s known more for making plays after the catch whereas Olave more easily finds separation in his routes. The Saints would be lucky to have either of them.
We still have a long road to travel until the draft kicks off, and there’s no guarantee that the Saints end up with either player. They’re wildly talented and stand on top of a very strong draft class. Of those four teams Pauline listed as giving the most attention to Olave and Wilson, the Jets pick twice before the Saints (at Nos. 4 and 10 overall) while the Patriots (No. 21) and Bills (No. 25) are not far behind New Orleans at No. 18. But the Saints have traded up for game-changing receivers before, like Brandin Cooks, and if they’re sold on one of these two Buckeyes they could make a bold move up the board again.
Status update on future Saints draft picks, from 2022 to 2025