Former NFL WR Compares Bears’ Rome Odunze To All-Time Great

Rome Odunze, Chicago Bears
NFL Analysis Network

The Chicago Bears selected University of Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze with the ninth overall pick of the NFL Draft, making him the third receiver selected in the class.

However, there are some who feel that Odunze may be the best of the bunch. Count former NFL wide out T.J. Houshmandzadeh among that group.

During a recent appearance on FS1’s The Herd, Houshmandzadeh raved about Odunze, calling him “the best” receiver in this year’s draft class. He also had an incredible comparison for him.

“He reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald, but faster,” Houshmandzadeh said.

That’s some pretty lofty praise.

Odunze is coming off of a fantastic 2023 campaign in which he hauled in 92 receptions for 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The 21-year-old arrived at Washington in 2020, but made minimal impact during his freshman season. The following year, his role began to increase, as he logged 41 catches for 415 yards and four scores.

Then, in 2022, Odunze broke out, catching 75 passes for 1,145 yards while reaching the end zone seven times.

Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers were the top two receivers taken in the NFL Draft last month, but apparently, some feel Odunze can end up making the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants—the clubs that took Harrison and Nabers, respectively—regret their picks.

As for Fitzgerald, the legendary receiver spent his entire 17-year NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals from 2004 through 2020, making 11 Pro B owl appearances while earning one First-Team All-Pro selection.

He posted nine 1,000-yard campaigns, topping out at 1,431 yards in 2008.

Odunze and Fitzgerald certainly have similar physical profiles, as they are both 6-foot-3 and are big-bodied wide outs. However, Odunze is a bit fleeter afoot than Fitzgerald, as Houshmandzadeh noted.

The Las Vegas native will join a Bears receiving corps that also includes Keenan Allen and DJ Moore, so Odunze will certainly enter his rookie campaign as Chicago’s No. 3 receiver.

However, based on some of the projections for Odunze and the fact that Allen’s deal expires after next season, that probably won’t last for long.

The Bears should be one of the more exciting teams to watch in 2024 with incoming rookie Caleb Williams under center and all of the weapons he has at his disposal.

We’ll see how quickly Rome Odunze can ascend Chicago’s depth chart in his debut campaign.

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