CARDINALS CORNER

Rome Odunze more than ready to prove he’s top wide receiver prospect in 2024 NFL Draft

Mar 1, 2024, 1:57 PM

Rome Odunze looks on...

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

For the entirety of the offseason, the trio of Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze have been lumped together as the top three wide receiver prospects headlining the 2024 NFL Draft.

Only Odunze, however, is taking part in the on-field portion of the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. And it’s in that space where he hopes he can create some separation for himself from the rest of the trio.

“For me, it was important to compete against generations before, generations to come, see where I stack up,” the wideout told reporters at the combine on Friday. “It’s a once in a lifetime thing.

“I think a lot of people underrate my speed, my explosiveness and my separation as well,” he added.

Odunze is prepping for the next level of competition after racking up a Pac-12-leading 92 receptions and pacing the NCAA in receiving yards with 1,640 to go along with 13 touchdowns. He chipped in another score both on the ground and as a punt returner.

He did most of his damage out wide, registering 737 of his 929 snaps on the outside compared to 147 in the slot and prides himself on being able to move all around the formation.

Odunze also realizes his work doesn’t stop when he steps off the field.

“I just think my versatility on the field, I think I showed all the skills that can translate to the NFL at a high level and different facets of my game,” Odunze said, adding that he believes he’s the best wide receiver prospect in the draft. “And I think who I am as a person and who I will be to the locker room, who I’ll be in the community are all A+.

“I would just say how much of a student I am of the game,” Odunze added. “I’m always willing to learn, always willing to understand there’s room for improvement regardless of where I’m at in my career.”

There’s a reason why NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah called Odunze his favorite prospect in this class.

Which NFL player does Rome Odunze model his game after?

Growing up in Las Vegas, it’s only right that one of Odunze’s biggest NFL influences in Davante Adams currently catches passes for the NFL organization residing in Sin City.

“I do a lot of his split-release technique. I’m still learning, still figuring out how he’s so twitchy with it,” Odunze said. “I’m still getting there but with his size and his route-running ability and his catch ability as well, I like to compare myself to him.”

That’s not a bad receiver to want to emulate as the six-time Pro Bowler has strung together an impressive career that includes five 1,000-yard seasons on top of scoring double-digit touchdowns six different seasons.

Rome Odunze cannot land an airplane

As we’ve seen over the years, questions at the Super Bowl media night and NFL Combine availabilities can be absolutely off the walls.

This year was no different, especially when looking at some of the questions Odunze fielded on Friday, one of which centered around whether or not Odunze could land an airplane in an emergency.

“Absolutely not. We are going down,” Odunze said. “All souls have perished.”

What about pigeons?

“Pigeons are fake. Those are AI,” Odunze said. “I haven’t (seen a baby pigeon).”

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