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2024 Rookie Profile: Rome Odunze – Wide Receiver

The NFL draft has one of the best receiver classes in years. Rome Odunze is ready to show he can be in the conversation of the best receiver in the class.

Profile Overview

  • College: Washington
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 212 lbs
  • Age: 21
  • Year: Junior
  • Hand: 9.25″
  • Arm: 32.25″
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.45
  • Vert: 39″
  • Broad: 10’4″
  • 3-Cone: 6.88
  • 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.03
  • Draft Projection: 1st Round

College Career

YearSchoolConfClassPosGRecYdsAvgTD
2020WashingtonPac-12FRWR4672120
2021WashingtonPac-12FRWR94141510.14
*2022WashingtonPac-12SOWR1275114515.37
*2023WashingtonPac-12JRWR1592164017.813

Rome Odunze went to Bishop Gorman High School, where he was the 22nd wide receiver in his recruiting class and a four-star recruit. He would commit to Washington, where he would play all four years of his college career. Unfortunately, Odunze’s college career did not start well, as he only got through four games before COVID would end his freshman season. He would lead his team in receptions in a poor Washington offense in his second freshman season.

Things would change for Odunze in his sophomore season as the team hired Kalen Deboer as head coach, and Michael Penix transferred to the team. Odunze would lead his team in receiving yards with 1145. He would finish third-team all-American and first-team all-Pac12 in that 2022 season. The improvement in quarterback made a big difference in this passing offense after a terrible 2021 season for the team.

In 2023, Odunze would dominate his true junior season, leading his team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. His production would help lead Washington to the National Championship. He would finish with first-team All-American in 2023. In three of his biggest games of 2023 (Pac-12 Championship and College Playoffs), Odunze would finish with 19 receptions and 314 receiving yards. He would have only one game under 80 receiving yards in 2023.

Strengths

Odzune is a special player who will do well at the NFL level. He didn’t test amazing at the NFL Combine, but he was ranked first in his Production Score and Athleticism Score based on the Combein total score. He was able to run a solid 4.45 40 times. Odunze should be considered a playmaker type of receiver for any NFL team. He has a lot of good qualities, but three traits stand out.

Body Control/Ball Tracking

One of Odunze’s best traits is his ability to track the ball well. He is a technician who knows how to come down with the ball with minimal interference from a defender. Odunze knows how to win the ball in tight windows. He is acrobatic when it comes to his ball skills. Odunze has a rare combination of strength and skill to prevent defenders from stopping him from getting the ball in his hands. He has strong, reliable hands that go along with this. He should excel in contested catch situations and win many 50/50 balls.

Odunze should be able to take on the toughest defensive backs in the league and make them look silly on the field. As you can see in the video, his body control and construction along the sidelines in this play are excellent.

Route Running

For being as big-bodied as Odunze is, he is an above-average route runner. He uses his length and strength to create consistent separation from his defender. Odunze loves manipulating his defenders into thinking he is taking deep routes but changing direction and creating a good amount of separation. You don’t have many receivers with his weight and height who can have such advanced route-running ability. Any receiver coming into the league must be a solid route runner to build a foundation to excel at the next level.

YAC Ability

Odunze’s final elite trait is his YAC ability. It’s another surprise based on his size, but Odunze is dangerous with the ball in his hands. He can sometimes be used near the line of scrimmage on quick plays and take the ball ten yards. Odunze is elusive when the ball is in open space and can do some damage on screen plays when the blocking is set up right. While he isn’t going to zoom past the defender every time, his bigger frame suggests his ability to break off tackles and continue to gain yards. Fantasy owners will love Odunze not being a 50/50 catch guy but someone who can gain those extra yards, resulting in more fantasy points. 

Areas of Concern

While Odunze has a lot of strength in his game, there are some areas in which we could see better improvement. Odunze could do better at the line of scrimmage. His release of the LOS doesn’t come off as twitchy or exploitative for an elite receiver. Odunze has been inconsistent when getting pressed early on when starting his route. In a few plays, he can get thrown off his route when getting pressured by a physical corner.

Odunze could be a better run blocker, and there is room for improvement. He seems to prefer 50/50 battles over running at full speed and beating his defenders.

Dynasty Value/Landing Spot/Rookie Pick Value

Odunze will be a fantastic consolation prize for an NFL team and dynasty owner. He has the skill sets to compete with Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers for the best receiver in this class once they get on an NFL field. He would likely project as an X receiver at the NFL level and be a future WR1 for a team. For scouting purposes, he is a small notch below the top two receivers.

Odunze is going to be a top-15 pick in the NFL draft. In mock drafts, he has gone as early as the 1.05 to the Chargers and as far as the 1.12 to the Broncos. His landing spot depends on where the other receivers fall in the draft. He has also been spotted landing with the Jets and the Bears. We could see a team like the Colts and Jaguars trade up for the young receiver services. The best spot would be with the Chargers at 1.05 if he could land there. The more realistic spot is the 1.09 if the Bears still want to take a receiver. 

The Chargers could prefer a bigger-bodied receiver to pair up with Herbert rather than Nabers, but it is unlikely they do. Not sure if the Bears still want a receiver with the recent trade of Keenan Allen. Odunze should likely be a top-seven pick in drafts unless some players below him land in elite landing spots during the NFL draft.

He has all the tools to contribute in year one, depending on the offense he is in. Even in a bad offense, he could lead the team in targets. Odunze should thrive in year one for any NFL team. If he lands with the Chargers, Jets, or Broncos, it’s more likely he will have day-one success. If he lands with the Bears or Colts, he may not see the same year one success. I can assure you that Odunze will be a player to own in the dynasty.

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One Response

  1. Odunze is a stud receiver who will be an excellent WR in the NFL. With strong hands and his all around skills he should be a top 10 pick in the NFL draft in April. His fantasy value really depends on what team he winds up on but I can see him being a top 25 WR his rookie season as long as he has a good QB throwing to him. He compares to one of my favorite WR of all-time, Larry Fitzgerald.

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