Bears WR Rome Odunze Sets Massive Goal For Rookie Season

Rome Odunze, Chicago Bears
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears selected quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick of the NFL Draft, so he grabbed most of the headlines. But eight picks later, the Bears grabbed Rome Odunze, who some feel may end up being the best wide receiver in his class.

Odunze will join a Bears receiving corps that also includes DJ Moore and Keenan Allen, so Williams will have no shortage of weapons during his debut campaign.

But even though Odunze is going to have to share targets with a couple of top-flight wide outs, he is still setting rather significant goals for himself going into his rookie season.

Odunze’s primary goal? Setting the rookie record for receiving yards, which would mean surpassing his former University of Washington teammate, Puka Nacua.

“I think that’s important for every player to set those goals and strive for the highest of the highs,” Odunze said, via the Bears’ official YouTube account. “It’s unique in my situation because I went to school with Puka Nacua, so I was following him and got to see what he did, so, absolutely, I’m chasing that. I think he’s right around 1,500, right? For that rookie season record. Absolutely chasing that.”

Does Rome Odunze Have Any Chance of Topping Puka Nacua?

Nacua racked up 1,486 yards with the Los Angeles Rams last season, but his circumstances were considerably different than Odunze’s.

First of all, Nacua had a proven quarterback in Matthew Stafford throwing him the football. Odunze has Williams, who is yet to play a down on the NFL level. Yes, Williams is considered by many to be a generational talent, but we still have no idea how he will translate to the pros.

Not only that, but Nacua was the clear No. 1 receiver for the Rams in 2023. Remember: Cooper Kupp began the year on the PUP list and only played in 12 games overall for Los Angeles last season. That allowed Nacua to develop an early lead and maintain it. Plus, the Rams’ receiving corps was not very deep beyond Nacua and Kupp. Tutu Atwell represented the No. 3 receiver, and he caught 39 passes for 483 yards.

Meanwhile, Moore hauled in 96 receptions for 1,364 yards and eight touchdowns this past year. Allen rattled off over 1,200 yards with the Los Angeles Chargers.

The chances of Odunze even being able to register 1,000 yards in his first season seem relatively slim barring injury or unforeseen circumstances.

Had Rome Odunze been drafted by another franchise, he certainly may have had a legitimate crack at Nacua’s record. But in Chicago? It just doesn’t seem very likely.

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