Chicago Bears need to see Rome Odunze check this box as a rookie

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With the Chicago Bears drafting Rome Oduze ninth overall there is a lot of excitement around what he can bring as a rookie. Still, the expectations have to be realistic or else fans will be disappointed. While Odunze may not come out and record 1,000 yards as a rookie, there is a baseline that he probably should hit. 

When you look at wide receivers drafted in the top 15 picks of the NFL draft since the year 2000, there is a correlation between rookie season success and long-term success. In some cases, like the Bears' selection of Kevin White, it's clear a wide receiver will be a bust from the start of their career.

Typically, if a wide receiver selected in the Top-15 of a draft do not hit the 500-yard mark during their rookie season, that is an indicator that the career production may not be sustainable.

A mile-marker stat for Chicago Bears to monitor Rome Odunze's progress by.

There have been 23 rookie wide receivers drafted within the Top-15 that have surpassed the 600-yard mark during their rookie season and the list includes Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Ja'Marr Chase, and Odell Beckham Jr among others.

Of the 23 wide receivers who were over 600 yards, there were very few misses. Michael Clayton, Sammy Watkins, and Justin Blackmon did not live up to expectations for various reasons. The rest is a list of major hits. 

It is not this simple, but history shows that wide receivers drafted in the top 15 who produce immediately will find success in the NFL. If they do not produce immediately, the odds are that they were not worth that type of draft capital. The rookie season for Rome Odunze may be more telling than some realize. We will see if he can get over 600 yards as a rookie.