Buckeyes in the NFL Draft: ESPN's Todd McShay says stock on Chris Olave up while Shaun Wade's is falling
There’s no doubt that, when the 2021 NFL Draft rolls around, plenty of players out of Ohio State will hear their names called. There’s a strong chance that there are quite a few guys who are first-round selections, too.
Two of the most interesting prospects out of Columbus are wide receiver Chris Olave and cornerback Shaun Wade. Heading into the season, Olave wasn’t considered by many to be a first-round choice, while Wade seemed like a lock to be a Day 1 pick.
But after the 2020 season has come to a close, ESPN Draft expert Todd McShay believes the two may have swapped. He thinks Olave is a potential first-round selection, while Wade’s stock is slipping into the second or third round.
First, McShay explained why Olave could be a first-round choice during the First Draft podcast:
“I think he’s one of the best five or six wide receivers in this class,” McShay said. “If he’s not late first, he’s going to be early second round. You see his routes and you see what he’s able to do getting in and out of breaks. It’s a great class. That’s the problem. You’ve got DeVonta Smith. You’ve got Ja’Marr Chase from LSU, Jaylen Waddle coming off the injury, Rashod Bateman, Terrace Marshall, who has emerged from LSU. Elijah Moore is emerging, really had a great season coming out of Ole Miss this year. But Chris Olave, in my opinion, he has the ability to accelerate out of cuts and get down the field. That’s something NFL teams are really going to love. I’ll be shocked if we get to pick 50, and he’s not off the board.”
Olave finished the 2020 season with 729 yards and 7 touchdowns on 50 receptions.
While the stock for Olave is trending up, McShay thinks things are looking a little more discouraging for Wade. The cornerback was a projected first-round pick entering the season, but as he’s struggled throughout the year, he’s now seen as anything but a lock to be called on Day 1.
Here’s what McShay said about Wade:
“I think he proved he belongs inside,” McShay said. “He’s a nickel corner. He can play a little free safety. He can move around. He’s physical, He’s tough. He can tackle in the open field really well. We saw that last night. But he is not cut out, at least at this point, to be a perimeter, cover corner that takes away your No. 1 wide receiver. He’s just not. We’ve seen it all year. It’s too bad to see. Everyone expected it because you watch (Jeff Okudah) go to the NFL Draft and he was kind of waiting his turn. And everyone expected he’s the next guy up, the five-star recruit. And he just hasn’t been.
“He’s a slot cover corner who can play that overhang. He can be physical. He can play the run. He can be very effective. He can play on special teams. I think he’s a day-two pick. He’s probably a second-round pick when it’s said and done.”
Neither Wade nor Olave has officially declared for the 2021 NFL Draft at this time.