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NFL Draft Profile – WR Rome Odunze

By Doug Orth | 4/18/24 |

Rome Odunze


College: Washington
Height/Weight: 6’ 3’’/212
Hands: 9 1/4’’
Age: 22 (at the time of the 2024 season opener)

Important NFL Combine Numbers

40-Yard Dash: 4.45
Vertical Jump: 39’’
Broad Jump: 10’ 4’’
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.03
3-Cone: 6.88

College Production (Stats)

High-end NFL Player Comp(s): DeAndre Hopkins

Low-end NFL Player Comp(s): Courtland Sutton

Best Scheme Fit: Projects best as a traditional X (split end) in any offense but possesses the ability to play all three receiver spots at a high level.

Best Team Fit(s): Chargers, Giants, Cardinals, Patriots, Bears

Non-bolded times - Good examples of attribute
Bolded times - Average/poor examples of attribute

Position-Specific Attributes and Grades
Attribute Att Grade Scale Examples
Ball Tracking 9.0 10.0

0:58, 3:36, 6:05, 6:28, 8:21, 11:27, 19:57

1:51, 13:26, 24:50, 45:40

Contested Catch/Body Control 10.0 10.0

0:58, 3:36, 5:42, 7:00, 8:21, 9:36, 11:27, 14:38, 19:57

13:26, 45:40

Hands 9.5 10.0

0:14, 0:29, 3:23, 3:36, 5:10, 5:35, 9:36, 11:27

2:16, 12:28

Release 9.0 10.0

4:02, 10:04, 20:35, 56:33

Route-Running 8.5 10.0

1:07, 1:43, 6:05, 8:05, 12:56

4:41, 6:02, 7:08, 44:04

Run After Catch 8.0 10.0

0:17, 0:44, 0:55, 1:44, 3:45, 4:44, 6:38, 35:25

6:48, 7:58, 13:44, 14:16

Physicality/Competitiveness 7.5 8.0

0:00, 1:01, 7:28, 9:30, 14:38, 19:33, 19:57


Separation 4.5 6.0

0:17, 0:29, 1:43, 3:11, 4:49, 5:37, 10:04

7:08, 7:51, 7:55, 8:25, 44:04

Speed 3.0 4.0

8:05, 9:32

Blocking 2.0 2.0

2:21, 4:53, 6:38, 9:56, 29:54

Film Grade 71.0 80.0

Pre-Draft Fantasy Prospect Grade* (out of 50): 42.5

* - How well does his skill set carry over to the fantasy game? For receivers, a player needs to be a realistic threat for 70 catches and 1,000 receiving yards at some point early in their career to be a candidate for a perfect grade. Positional scarcity at the pro level is also a part of the equation.


  • Few receivers show better ball skills or more body control in contested-catch situations.

  • Exceptional hands-catcher (3.2 percent drop rate in 2023 on 140 catchable targets was sixth in FBS for receivers with at least 100 targets).

  • Understands the value of stacking his defender on vertical shots, by either keeping him on his back or drawing a penalty (he led FBS in pass interference calls drawn with nine in 2023).

  • Quickly finds his way into his defender's blind spot and has a natural feel for the soft spot in zone coverage.

  • Feisty blocker who genuinely appears to enjoy being physical with his man, particularly when he has a chance to seal the edge.

  • Team captain with undeniable toughness; suffered a broken rib and punctured lung on Sept. 30 but did not miss a game following a bye week.


  • Although he wins at every kind of route, his attention to detail and urgency on them is lacking at times.

  • Rarely showed off the wheels that once made him a highly decorated high school sprinter.

  • Does not create much separation on downfield routes and seems content too often to win in contested-catch situations.

  • Run-after-catch production and play strength are a bit disappointing given his size and athleticism.

  • His release could use some work and his ability to beat the jam off the line of scrimmage is inconsistent.

Bottom Line

No college receiver was more productive down the field last season than Odunze, who led all qualified wideouts in deep catches (23), deep yards (783) and contested catches (21). It was his proficiency in the third category that buoyed the first two. Make no mistake about it: Odunze was not blowing by many defenders very often. There is also little question that having a great deep-ball passer such as Michael Penix Jr. throwing "trust balls" to him as often as he did boosted all of those numbers. While that may seem like a harsh introduction for such an accomplished receiver, it is more that Odunze does not win in the most aesthetically pleasing way. The beauty of his game, however, is that players such as Hopkins have already proven that a receiver can lean heavily on body positioning and ball skills and still be a feared alpha receiver.

There are shades of Davante Adams and Keenan Allen in his game, but both men are much more refined route-runners than Odunze, who is more of a contested-catch receiver at this point. While his 4.45 speed is impressive for a receiver his size, evaluators rarely had a chance to see it because the Las Vegas native went down on first contact far too often. His lack of play strength is also surprising for a player of his size who tested out as such an explosive athlete at the NFL Combine and largely explains why he averaged only 5.6 yards after catch per reception in 2023 - good for 107th in the country. Last but not least, Odunze struggled to create separation consistently, enough to the point where the question has to be asked if Washington's wide-open attack and the high-level accuracy of his quarterback may have covered up the lack of route crispness he will need in the NFL.

Odunze's athletic profile suggests his best days are ahead of him as a vertical threat and separator. If for no other reason, pro coaching should be able to improve him in those areas. There are no questions about his work ethic or toughness either. His hands are as strong as any receiver's in this draft class and he has already mastered some of the more nuanced parts of being a receiver (such as stacking, getting into a defender's blind spot and uncovering against zone coverage). His willingness to block and physicality as a blocker will get him on the field early and keep him there. His "my ball" mentality should make him a preferred red zone target as well. Odunze may not be an immediate alpha receiver like draft classmates Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers, but it would be surprising if he doesn't get there at some point early in his NFL career. It may be unrealistic for Odunze to reach the same heights as Hopkins has in his career, but the possibility of coming close to that level eventually exists if the Biletnikoff Award finalist lands in a good situation at the end of April.

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Doug Orth has written for FFToday since 2006 and been featured in USA TODAY's Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He is also a high-stakes player who often appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, such as Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive." Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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