2024 NFL Draft: Rome Odunze, Malik Nabers jockey for position behind Marvin Harrison Jr. — updated WR rankings

Marvin Harrison Jr. hogs the spotlight at wide receiver. But make no mistake, Rome Odunze, Malik Nabers, and Keon Coleman are right on his heels. Let’s assess the group with an updated WR ranking for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Nov 18, 2023; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) celebrates a
Nov 18, 2023; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) celebrates a / Craig Strobeck-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 6
Next

2024 NFL Draft Tier 2 (WRs) — Rome Odunze, Malik Nabers, Or Keon Coleman? The Choice Is Yours

WR2 — Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

2023 Stats: 81 receptions, 1,428 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns, 70.8% contested catch rate (17/24)

2024 NFL Draft Grade: Top 10 (No. 7 Overall)

Rome Odunze has held onto the No. 2 spot in NFLMocks' wide receiver rankings since the 2022 college football campaign. The Washington Husky standout is similar to Harrison Jr. in several ways. First, Odunze’s body control is otherworldly. Nobody in the 2024 NFL Draft can contort their frame in a similar fashion — he looks like a Marvel superhero when corralling in passes downfield.

Odunze terrorizes opposing secondaries, especially when they are foolish enough to leave single coverage on him. It’s all but guaranteed to result in a first down or a touchdown when the 6-foot-3, 216-pounder is left on an island. Mel Kiper’s No. 5 overall player, Odunze is garnering fanfare around the NFL Draft community thanks to his game-breaking speed, reliable hands, and underrated route tree, plus some contributions on special teams.

Don’t be surprised if a team within the top 5-10 selections falls head over heels for Rome Odunze. He lays claim to the No. 7 overall spot on the current Big Board, maintaining his billing as the WR2 in the class. In any other draft class, Odunze would run away with the WR1 mantle. But he checks in just behind Marvin Harrison Jr. for 2024.

WR3 — Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

2023 Stats: 86 receptions, 1,545 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns, 47.6% contested catch rate (10/21)

2024 NFL Draft Grade: Top 10 (No. 9 Overall)

As much praise and attention as Harrison Jr. and Odunze rightfully receive, perhaps the most impressive player in 2023 has been Malik Nabers. The LSU product is the next in a long line of sensational pass catchers out of Baton Rouge. With the likes of Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson setting the league on fire, it’s expected that Nabers will fuel that blaze upon arrival.

The 6-foot, 201-pound wideout is a weapon with the ball in his hands. He hits top gear with ease and consistently leaves defenders in his dust. No tackle angle is safe with Nabers, as his ability to cut on a dime and shake free from would-be tacklers results in substantial yardage after the catch. But at the catch point is where he is most impressive.

Nabers excels in 50/50 situations. If it’s a one-on-one look, the only hope a defensive back has is if the pass is errant — and even those can still end with a jaw-dropping reception. The Tiger pass catcher is a crafty route runner but could stand to add a few more to his arsenal to make life harder on defensive coordinators at the next level. Nabers is NFLMocks’ No. 9 prospect overall (WR3) and an instant Pro Bowl-caliber player in Year 1.

WR4 — Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

2023 Stats: 50 receptions, 658 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns, 33.3% contested catch rate (10/30)

2024 NFL Draft Grade: Top 15 (No. 12 Overall)

Keon Coleman gets billed as a big-bodied wide receiver who wins jump balls at a consistent rate. And, for the most part, that is true. But, sometimes, it paints an unfair picture of just how versatile the Florida State star is. At 6-foot-4 and weighing 216 pounds, Coleman has the requisite size and skillset to be a Mike Evans-esque player on Sundays. But, like Evans, he brings much more to the table.

Coleman is a kick return specialist for the Seminoles, highlighting how explosive and difficult to tackle he is with a full head of steam. On top of that, Mike Norvell and Co. weren’t shy about using the massive target in the screen game and on sweeps. Given his long strides, it’s easy to see a path toward YAC superstardom in the NFL.

Coleman receives a sparkling top 15 rating on NFLMocks’ Big Board, checking in as the WR4 and putting a cap on the second tier of pass catchers. Any of the three could rise to the top of this tier by the end of draft season, but as for now, Odunze-Nabers-Coleman is the locked-in order. All 32 NFL teams would be lucky to have any of that triumvirate of receivers.