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Bears rookie Rome Odunze sights set on historic first NFL season: ‘Chasing those records’

Chicago Bears wide receiver Rome Odunze has yet to record a reception during an NFL game, but the ninth overall selection in the 2024 draft is already looking to make history.

The former Washington Huskies standout is targeting the league’s rookie yardage record, which Los Angeles Rams wideout Puka Nacua set last year.

Nacua, a fifth-round pick in the 2023 draft, finished his stellar first professional season with 105 catches and 1,486 receiving yards. Odunze appears confident his rookie campaign will be on par, if not better.

“I think that’s important for every player to set those goals and strive for the highest of the highs,” Odunze told reporters this week. 

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“It’s unique in my situation because I went to school with Puka Nacua, so I was following him and got to see what he did, so, absolutely, I’m chasing that. I think he’s right around 1,500, right? For that rookie season record. Absolutely chasing that.”

Rome Odunze looks on field

Aside from Odunze, the Bears wide receiver room also includes six-time Pro Bowler Keenan Allen and veteran DJ Moore. So, Odunze will likely have to compete with those players for catches from rookie quarterback Caleb Williams.

Rome Odunze vs Michigan

But Odunze’s pursuit doesn’t end with rookie records. He also has the Bears’ single-season reception record in his sights.

“I think Brandon Marshall has the single-season record here, right?” Odunze said. Marshall racked up 1,508 receiving yards on 118 receptions during his All-Pro 2012 season. At some point, Odunze also wants to tackle the Bears all-time receiving yards record.

Bears legend Johnny Morris’ 5,059 career receiving yards is the most any player has accumulated while wearing a Bears uniform.

“Of course, chasing those records, and I think that’s important because, you know, I said this at Washington, I hopefully leave the Bears organization better than I found it,” he said. “And if I have my name on some of those records, I feel like that’s just one facet of doing so.”

Odunze’s 1,640 yards receiving led college football in 2023. He also recorded 13 touchdown receptions.

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