Rome Odunze

Multiple ESPN analysts call Rome Odunze best pick of 2024 NFL Draft

For better or worse, the expectations for Bears rookie receiver Rome Odunze are through the roof

NBC Universal, Inc.

It's far too early to tell whether or not the Chicago Bears struck gold with wide receiver Rome Odunze, but the praise experts are giving Bears general manager Ryan Poles for the selection means the bar is high.

All that hoopla surrounding the No. 9 overall pick ought to make Bears fans feel good. On the flip side, the expectation for Odunze to have a monster rookie season is through the roof.

At the end of the day, having people believe in you isn't the worst way to enter your first NFL season. The football experts at ESPN certainly do. In fact, three of them think he was the best selection of the entire 2024 draft. Here's what each one had to say about the Bears' newest receiver.

Matt Miller, NFL draft analyst:

"Let's give the Bears credit for not overthinking and simply drafting great players," Miller wrote. "With a rookie quarterback added in Caleb Williams, selecting a go-to receiver for him to learn and grow with was brilliant. It also helps that the two trained together, building chemistry in the pre-draft process. Odunze was my No. 3 overall prospect, which means Chicago drafted two of my top three players in this class."

Mike Tannenbaum, NFL front office insider:

"He has a legitimate chance to be the best receiver from this draft," Tannenbaum wrote. "Under the motto of 'win for today and develop for tomorrow,' the Bears have [Keenan] Allen on a one-year deal, and Odunze has Terrell Owens' type of ability. Odunze had 1,640 receiving yards and 13 scores in 2023. This is ideal for Chicago."

Field Yates, NFL draft analyst:

"The wideout falling to No. 9 was not a complete surprise, given the anticipated run on quarterbacks early, but it was also not a sure thing," Yates wrote. "The sixth-highest-rated player on my board could have been the first receiver taken in so many prior drafts, but the presence of Marvin Harrison Jr. and [Malik] Nabers (the third- and fourth-rated players on my board) made him the third off the board in this class. But don't be mistaken -- Odunze will be an instant impact contributor as one the most polished prospects in the class."

Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.

Contact Us