One bold NFL prediction for Bears No. 9 overall pick Rome Odunze in 2024

Rome Odunze ready to turn heads in 2024
Chicago Bears receiver Rome Odunze
Chicago Bears receiver Rome Odunze / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The focus will be on Caleb Williams in 2024, but for the Chicago Bears there’s another rookie who will be a big part of the offense this coming season.  Selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, wide receiver Rome Odunze will make his impact on the league.

Unlike Williams, there won’t be as much pressure on the Washington product in Year 1.  That’s because the Bears have a duo of veteran receivers in DJ Moore and Keenan Allen who will take much of the attention.

That doesn’t mean Odunze won’t make defenses pay with his combination of size, power speed.  Given how he has looked in OTAs and minicamp last month, the Bears got themselves a player, a player who has already shown a maturity and football IQ to be successful Year 1 in the league.

Chicago Bears rookie receiver Rome Odunze processing concepts quicky

One of the early observations of Odunze is his ability to learn the new playbook Bears offensive coordinator Shane Waldron is inserting.  In learning a new scheme, the rookie has been able to pick it up right away which has impressed Waldron and the rest of the coaching staff.


That will go a long way in helping the progression of Williams, who has raved about what Odunze brings to the table.

“That guy wants to play,” Williams said via the team’s official site.  “As a competitor, as a player, being in this position, his position, you have great guys around you, you have all these things around you – tools, great coaches and great facilities, all these other things.  Why would you want to necessarily wait?  You can grow throughout.  You can learn from other people’s mistakes.”

Williams’ remarks were in reference to Odunze picking up the offense quickly and his mindset that he will come in and earn snaps in the Bears’ offense despite the playmakers ahead of him like Moore in Allen.  It’s that competitive nature that will allow for the Bears rookie to not only learn from his own mistakes but find that growth within his own game by watching the mistake of others. 

Odunze will come as advertised

As far as transactions the Bears have made in the offseason, acquiring Allen may turn out to be the most valuable as far as the development of Oduzne.  A veteran receiver with similar physical traits and the knowledge it takes to be successful in the league is why NFL Mock predicts a solid season from Odunze.   

While Odunze is coming off a stellar season in his final year at Washington, he won’t be the top rookie receiver in the league, but he will turn heads almost immediately.  The big target will connect with Williams for a touchdown reception in his debut with the Bears which will set the stage for him to morph into the team’s No. 2 receiver by the end of the season.  It will be that Williams to Odunze connection that will lead a rejuvenated Bears team into the playoffs.

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Although the Bears rookie will be solid, don’t expect a 1,000-yard season.  Odunze will catch close to 50 passes for 600+ receiving yards, but he will make the highlight reels with contested catches that will make him a tough cover in the NFL.