How former Ohio State football WR Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are adapting to NFL camps

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

Former Ohio State football wide receivers Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave are getting their first taste of what it's like to play in the NFL. 

After being the first wide receivers drafted in the first round from Ohio State since Ted Ginn Jr. in 2007, Wilson and Olave have begun their first training camps with the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints, respectively, after going back-to-back with the No. 10 and No. 11 overall picks in the 2022 NFL draft

Wilson and Olave are two of nine former Ohio State wide receivers to head into the 2022 season on an NFL roster, joining Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Michael Thomas, Parris Campbell, Noah Brown, Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor

Jameson Williams, who transferred from Ohio State to Alabama in 2021, was selected with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft

Since both Wilson and Olave have taken the practice field at their respective stops, both have already turned heads.

Wide receiver Garrett Wilson during the opening day of the 2022 New York Jets Training Camp in Florham Park, NJ on July 27, 2022.

Garrett Wilson impressive in first days with New York Jets 

Even in his first days with the Jets, Wilson still found an opportunity to show love to Ohio State. 

But on the practice field, Wilson has generated his fair share of highlights working with quarterbacks Zach Wilson and Joe Flacco after being selected as the No. 10 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Wilson has already turned heads inside the Jets organization.  

"He reminds me of me, a lot of the same things we did and were being asked to do," Jets wide receiver and 2021 second-round pick Elijah Moore told reporters. "Whenever I can give him a tip on not even football related, but maybe how to handle something in the building, I always try to do that. He's really picking up on things fast, and he's going to be fine." 

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Jets coach Robert Saleh called Wilson "very, very athletic," complimenting his body control and power in and out of breaks, describing the former Ohio State wide receiver as "wiggly." 

"He is talented," Saleh said. "Obviously there are things he's going to have to learn as a rookie, especially moving around in our offense. But at the same time, we're really excited about him and the direction of this team." 

Wilson has seen his share of challenges, too. 

He has seen a lot of Jets cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, who the team took with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. 

"That boy's a dog. He's really a dog," Wilson said. "He's really handsy, good with his hands and puts himself in the right scenario a lot of the times. Going up against Sauce, you really have to make sure you have a plan." 

Chris Olave: 'I know he's going to compete' 

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave (12) works out during the NFL football team's rookie minicamp in Metairie, La., Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

In his first practices with the Saints, Olave seems to already be finding a home with the passing game. 

Olave was selected by the Saints with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2022 draft, joining former Buckeyes in Thomas, cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Bradley Roby, tight end Nick Vannett and linebacker Pete Werner on the roster. 

Thomas knows what Olave can bring to the Saints passing game, having known the former Ohio State wide receiver since before he was officially a Buckeye. 

"I'm very excited. It's a blessing to have a guy like Chris Olave," Thomas told reporters. "I've known Chris before he got here and to have the opportunity to have a guy like that, to train with him... it's an honor. I know the culture he came from, the environment he came from. I know the guys that coached him. Just coming from that winning culture at Ohio State, that brotherhood and bringing another guy in here like that, I know he's going to compete." 

cgay@dispatch.com 

@_ColinGay

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