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Bears’ Rome Odunze says he’s ‘absolutely chasing’ Puka Nacua’s rookie records

There’s a new sense of optimism around the Chicago Bears, and it’s because of what the franchise accomplished in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Chicago selected its prospective quarterback of the future at No. 1 overall in Caleb Williams, then came right back at No. 9 overall and selected one of the top receivers in the draft in Rome Odunze.

Williams and Odunze have the potential to be a dynamic duo for years to come, but both want to make immediate impacts for the hungry Bears. In fact, Odunze says he’s chasing Puka Nacua’s rookie records in 2024. 

“That rookie season record, I’m absolutely chasing that,” Odunze said, via the Chicago Sun-Times, H/T Pro Football Talk. “Of course, [I’m] chasing those records and that’s important. I’ll hopefully leave the Bears organization better than I found it. If I have my name on some of those records, that’s just one facet of doing so.”

Last year for the Los Angeles Rams, the fifth-round pick out of BYU caught 105 passes for 1,486 yards. Both figures broke rookie records. Cooper Kupp missing the first four games of the 2023 season helped Nacua’s case, as the rookie caught 39 passes for 501 yards and one touchdown in his first four NFL outings. 

Odunze will have to compete for touches alongside veterans Keenan Allen and D.J. Moore, but he’s talented enough to be that WR1. The 2023 Consensus All-American was a two-time First Team All-Pac-12 player who led the FBS in receiving yards last year with 1,640. Odunze also led the FBS with 23 receptions of 20+ air yards. He’s a deep-ball weapon Williams could rely on early. 

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Author: Jordan Dajani
June 13, 2024 | 11:55 am

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