METAIRIE, La. Chris Olave’s first day in the New Orleans Saints rookie camp was technically Friday. However, the 11th overall pick in the NFL Draft has already spent most of the last two weeks getting to know his new roommate, Michael Thomas, at their joint home base in Southern California.
Thomas welcomed the former Ohio State recipient over FaceTime shortly after he was appointed – and then invited Olave to come and stay with him and train.
“I could not rule it out,” said Olave, who spent a week and a half with Thomas before flying to New Orleans for this weekend’s rookie minicamp.
However, this was not the first time they had trained together. Thomas shared a photo on draft night, from when they had done the same thing a year ago.
“I feel like it was exactly a year ago,” Olave said. “It was cool to be out there with him. And finally being on the same team is going to be huge, I can’t wait.
“He’s shown love to me since college, so we texted back and forth every now and then … I feel like we have the same mindset. We both want to dominate. We’re both competitors. Just when we get on the field “We become another person. Just knowing him and knowing he’s on the other side of the field will make us better and make us go hard.”
Olave said he likes Thomas’ “dogs” mentality and laughed when he said he had seen it up close over the past two weeks.
“I see it, man. I can see how he works,” Olave said. “If he loses a pass, he hits the ball, he gets mad. But that’s the one you want around you. I feel it will make you better. He will call you out on your bs.
“So I like Mike as a teammate. Even as a person, I understand him where he comes from. I can see why he goes so hard.”
Olave already counts Washington Commanders star Terry McLaurin as a mentor and “big brother” whom he has imitated since they were teammates at Ohio State.
And now he can add Jarvis Landry to his impressive list of mentors after the five-time Pro Bowler agreed to a deal with the Saints on Friday.
Olave said he heard the “big” news when he came off the training ground.
“I can not wait to learn from them, the two legends,” Olave said of Thomas and Landry. “I’m just starting to play receiver my junior year in high school. When I came here and got Mike Thomas, Jarvis Landry to help me, I have plenty of room for development, I can not wait to get the most out of it.
“I’ve seen a lot of movies on Jarvis, only his short moving speed. I saw a lot of movies about him in college and tried to take some things out of his game. And Mike is one of the best receivers in the game., So “Of course I see him. But seeing them in person, seeing how they work in person, I feel it will help me a lot.”
New Orleans’ receiving space has undergone one of the most radical transformations of any position group in the NFL this offseason. The Saints finished in an uncharacteristic 32nd place in the league in passing offensive last year – largely due to major injuries to Thomas, quarterback Jameis Winston and the offensive line.
Now Thomas is expected to return after missing the entire season with an ankle injury along with newcomers Olave and Landry.
“(Landry) has obviously been a really good player in our league. He’s a guy who can move the chains. And we feel he’s a guy from a character point of view, from a managerial point of view we can use,” he said. the new Saints coach Dennis Allen, who was asked if he has heard from any LSU fans in the area who are excited about the additions of Landry and Tyrann Mathieu.
“Well, yeah, my whole neighborhood thinks I sent myself a text somehow,” Allen said.
As for Olave, Allen said the two-day rookie camp is a “small sample size.” But so far, the 6-foot-1, 189-pound is “what we thought he would be.”
“A guy who’s really fast, smooth in the transition, good route runner,” Allen said. “And look, in the end, he’s the type of character we wanted to bring into the building. And I think that’s just as important as anything else.”