Proposed Chiefs, Cardinals Trade Lands ‘Polished’ Ohio State Star in Round 1

Chris Olave

Getty Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave catches a touchdown against Michigan State.

Yesterday on April 15, the Kansas City Chiefs hosted Alabama wide receiver prospect Jameson Williams. More than anything, this signals that general manager Brett Veach could be serious about trading up in round one of the draft to land a top prospect at the position.

Williams is very unlikely to fall to No. 29 overall, and an Ohio State star by the name of Chris Olave probably won’t either. That’s why NFL draft expert Lance Zierlein predicted that KC would move up to get him in a recent mock draft.

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Chiefs Trade-up to No. 23

Zierlein’s run on wide receiver talent began as early as No. 8 overall when the Atlanta Falcons selected fellow Ohio State teammate Garrett Wilson. From there, USC product Drake London was drafted 11th in this scenario, and Williams ended up going at 18 — one pick behind Arkansas WR Treylon Burks.

Many consider there to be five top-tier receiving prospects in this draft and with four already off the board, the analyst predicted that Veach would trade up for the fifth. He wrote:

You didn’t think GM Brett Veach was going to just sit and wait at the back of the draft with all that capital (12 total picks, including Nos. 29 and 30 and six within the first 103), did you?

Unfortunately, Zierlein did not provide an exact pick exchange as the Chiefs jumped six spots in the order to snag Olave, so we came up with one or two possibilities based on the NFL draft value chart. Below are a couple of potential trade scenarios between the Arizona Cardinals and Chiefs in round one:

Option #1
Chiefs Receive: 
No. 23 (760 points)
Cardinals Receive: Nos. 29, 94 (764 points)

Option #2
Chiefs Receive: 
Nos. 23, 87 (915 points)
Cardinals Receive: Nos. 29, 62 (924 points)

Kansas City and Arizona actually link up perfectly in terms of trade valuation, so watch out at No. 23 if Veach has yet to make a move. The first option is an easy one and includes a first-round swap, plus the higher of KC’s two third-round picks.

If the Cardinals would like to sweeten the deal a bit in their favor, the second option could provide the right middle ground. In this alternative, KC gives up No. 29 and the lesser of two second-round picks while Arizona tosses in an extra third-rounder as compensation.

Both of those deals are more than fair for each franchise, but there’s always the chance the Chiefs may have to overpay to outbid another would-be suitor at wide receiver. By the way, Zierlein sent Christian Watson to Green Bay at No. 28 overall, marking the sixth pass-catcher taken in round one.

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Scouting Olave for KC

Speaking of Zierlein, his official scouting report on Olave compared him to Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin.

He detailed: “The quiet storm of the Ohio State wide receiver corps, Olave is smooth, steady and makes things happen. His movements are fluid and easy from snap to the catch and all points between. He’s fast but efficient and plays with the bend and foot agility to uncover on all three levels. Olave possesses natural, well-rounded ball skills but needs to add play strength to ward off the physical challenges that are headed his way. His play traits should allow for success beyond the scheme and talent advantages surrounding him at Ohio State. He is an inside/outside hybrid appealing to offenses looking for a field-stretcher with the ability to take on a sizable catch load.”

The unassuming 6-foot-1 threat ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Oliver Hodgkinson of Pro Football Network highlighted his burst, footwork and ability to create separation.

Colleague Tony Pauline also referred to him as “a polished wideout who can immediately produce in the NFL.”

Brandin Cooks is another NFL comparison that makes a ton of sense when watching Olave. Like McLaurin, Cooks is a career number one WR and the former Buckeye could be too. His greatest weakness is probably his strength and physicality, but his prowess as a route-runner should help him overcome that at the NFL level.

Alongside Travis Kelce, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marques Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman, this diverse Chiefs offense would feature plenty of weapons for Patrick Mahomes.


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