Justin Fields

Rome Odunze can see Bears being perfect match if QB is Justin Fields or Caleb Williams

Whether it's Justin Fields or Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze believes he can help the Bears reach the next level

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LAS VEGAS – Rome Odunze’s rise has taken him from likely Day 2 draft pick, to top 10 lock. It’s a journey whose path has been paved with hard work and sweat on the practice fields at Washington.

One that could lead him to the Bears as long as he's still be on the board when the Bears go on the clock at No. 9.

Odunze has become a popular name attached to the Bears in the pre-draft process. No matter who the Bears’ quarterback is in 2024, they’ll need an elite weapon like Odunze to truly have the best chance to blossom.

If the Bears do come calling for Odunze, who patterned his game after Devin Hester growing up, he believes he’ll provide something the franchise needs to reach the heights it has long craved.

“I’ve seen great things,” Odunze told NBC Sports Chicago about the Bears at Super Bowl 58 Radio Row on Wednesday. “I was a big fan of Devin Hester growing up. That was my favorite player. I love it. Chicago is an amazing city. I feel like in recent years they haven’t had the success they want and I feel like I could revive that – provide another asset to the offense to help propel them to another height. I think they got a great quarterback in Justin Fields. I think he’s a baller. I think they could add me and be another asset for them.”

Scouts rave about Odunze’s physicality, route-running, and contested-catch ability. The Washington star worked on improving his contested catches with the Huskies basketball team over the summer.

While Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. is seen as the cream of the crop, many scouts around the league believe Odunze will wind up being the best receiver in a loaded class.

Pairing Odunze with DJ Moore would give the Bears two elite receivers who skill sets blend perfectly.

Odunze has long been a fan of Moore’s game and knows that staring his career opposite another elite receiver would be the ideal launching pad for NFL success.

“That would be awesome. He’s a dog,” Odunze said of Moore. “I remember watching, I mean he just doesn’t go down. His balance to maintain it through catches and stay on his feet and get those extra yards, it’s one of the highlights of his game. He’s smaller but he has the speed, the physicality of a bigger receiver. He’s exciting to watch.”

As far as the Bears’ upcoming quarterback decision, Odunze had nothing but good things to say about both Fields and Williams.

“I think his ability to extend plays is what glares at a lot of people who watch him,” Odunze said of Fields. “It’s rare that he gets taken down in the backfield. He can play with his feet, and then he can make a play with his feet and get the ball in the air. To be so versatile in a league that has such great pass rushers, I think he’s got a unique skill set.”

Odunze and Washington faced Williams and USC this season in a back-and-forth 52-42 win for the Huskies. It was during that night in Los Angeles, that Odunze got to see what Williams is all about.

“He’s a special player. His arm talent is pretty crazy,” Odunze said of Williams. “He can deliver it inside the pocket. I even saw it firsthand, his ability to get outside the pocket and make people miss and make plays. His awareness to be able to look downfield and be able to make some of the throws he makes man, it’s incredible to watch. He’s special player. It would be exciting to play with him.”

Odunze is everything the Bears need in a complement to Moore. As they look to build their roster for long-term success, the Bears would be wise not to let Odunze slip through their fingers.

His draft stock is sure to rise over the coming months, and there’s a good chance he’ll be off the board before No. 9. The Bears have the draft assets needed to make a move up to secure him should they identify him as the Batman B to Moore’s Batman A.

Spend 10 minutes around Odunze and it’s easy to envision him thriving in Chicago, feeding off the expectations and energy that course through a city dominated by a team trying to pull itself out of the NFC North basement.

He has an infectious personality and is brimming with the confidence of a guy who knows he’ll never be outworked.

After praising Harrison Jr. and LSU’s Malik Nabers, Odunze was asked for the first word that came to mind when he thinks of himself.

The answer paints a picture of a budding star the Bears might not want to miss out on.

“Wide receiver one,” Odunze said, with a big smile.

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