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2024 Combine

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Washington WR Rome Odunze: 'I Am the Best Receiver in this Class'

Jets GM Joe Douglas Is on the Hunt for More Playmakers

Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, March 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Two years ago, Jets GM Joe Douglas used the No. 10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson. Armed with the No. 10 selection again in 2024, draft analysts are projecting Douglas could now pair up Wilson, the first Jet to eclipse 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, with another standout target.

Washington's Rome Odunze believes he stands alone in this WR group.

"I am the best wide receiver in this class," Odunze said Friday at the NFL Combine. "I just think my versatility sets me a part. I have shown all the skills that translate to the NFL at a high level. And I think who I am as a person, who I will be in a locker room and who I will be on the field are all an A-plus."

Odunze established himself as one of the nation's top pass catchers in his final season with the Huskies, recording 92 catches for 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Athletic's Dane Brugler described Odunze (6-3, 217) as a fluid route runner with "above-average tracking/adjustment skills to secure catches in high-trafficked areas."

The Jets pass game will improve immediately with a healthy Aaron Rodgers at QB. Last season, Wilson led the club with 95 receptions on 168 targets, totaling 1,042 yards and 3 TDs. Statistically, the Jets' second and third wide receivers in production were Allen Lazard (23-311-1TD) and Xavier Gipson (21-229).

"We want to have as many playmakers as we can on the team and take as much pressure off of Garrett [Wilson], Breece [Hall], Aaron [Rodgers]," Jets GM Joe Douglas said. "So, we want to add as many high-caliber players as we can."

In 2023, Odunze finished second in the FBS in catches of 20-plus yards (32). And in the final three games of his college career – the Pac-12 Championship game, college football semifinal and championship – he delivered with 19 receptions for 314 yards.

"I make my money everywhere," he said. "But last year I think it was a lot of back shoulder fades with Michael Penix and building that connection. But anywhere you put me on the field, I feel like I will go make a play.

"I think a lot of people underrate my speed and explosiveness that you can see on tape, and my separation as well. I don't know where some of the narratives come from, but if you watch the entire tape you can see."

NFL Network Draft Analyst Daniel Jeremiah listed Odunze as his No. 3 overall prospect and the second-best wide receiver in the class due to many traits including "exceptional hands." In his last three years at Washington, Odunze recorded 24 touchdowns in 36 games including his one-handed TD grab against Washington State as a sophomore in 2020.

"Certain people call certain types of catches 50-50, but for me, it is 100-0," Odunze said. "I think you have to go into it with that mindset that it is just you and the ball. The defender is not even there. If you go and elevate and snag the ball, then you will come down with it."

In the event Odunze does end up with the Green & White, he could be a perfect fit for future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers. In Indianapolis, Odunze compared himself to Raiders WR Davante Adams, Rodgers' former teammate in Green Bay. While playing with Rodgers in 2020 and 2021, Adams totaled 238 receptions for 2,927 yards and 29 touchdowns and helped the Jets' signal caller earn back-to-back MVPs.

"I would say Davante Adams is my player comparison," Odunze said. "I do a lot of his releases and model his technique. I am still trying to figure out how he is so twitchy, but I am getting there. With his size and his route running and his catchability, I like to compare myself to him."

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