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ESPN analysts tab Rome Odunze as best pick in NFL Draft


Three analysts have chosen the Bears' selection of Washington receiver Rome Odunze at No. 9 in the first round as the best pick of the NFL Draft.

Odunze appeared in 40 games the past four seasons for the Huskies, catching 214 passes for 3,272 yards and 24 touchdowns. Last year the 6-3, 215-pounder was named AP First-Team All-American and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award which honors the nation's top receiver after establishing career highs with 92 receptions, 1,640 yards and 13 TDs.

With the Bears choosing Odunze after picking USC quarterback Caleb Williams No. 1 overall, they drafted two players in the top 10 for the first time since 1979 when they selected defensive linemen Dan Hampton at No. 4 and Al Harris at No. 9.

Wrote Matt Miller:

"Let's give the Bears credit for not overthinking and simply drafting great players. 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."

Get an exclusive look at new Bears quarterback Caleb Williams and receiver Rome Odunze visiting Halas Hall for the first time as Bears after being selected in the first round of the 2024 draft.

Wrote Mike Tannenbaum:

"[Odunze] has a legitimate chance to be the best receiver from this draft. Under the motto of "win for today and develop for tomorrow," the Bears have Allen on a one-year deal, and Odunze has Terrell Owens' type of ability. This is ideal for Chicago."

Wrote Field Yates:

"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. 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 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 of the most polished prospects in the class."

With the 9th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Bears select Washington receiver Rome Odunze. Take a look at photos of Odunze in action. (Photos via AP)