Rome Odunze is aiming for a historic goal in rookie season with Bears

The rookie doesn't want to be an afterthought. Instead, he's looking at a record set just last year.
Chicago Bears, Rome Odunze
Chicago Bears, Rome Odunze / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

When the Chicago Bears selected wide receiver Rome Odunze no. 9 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, most fans looked at the situation he was coming into through a logical lens.

The Bears have two top-tier talents in D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen atop the depth chart, therefore Odunze will begin his career as the Bears' third wide receiver, in terms of pecking order. But, the rookie isn't ready to accept that he might be more of an afterthought in Year 1.

In fact, he's dreaming a whole lot bigger.

Just how big is Odunze willing to dream as a rookie? He's chasing history. Odunze had this to say to The Chicago Sun-Times (subscription required):

"That rookie season record, I'm absolutely chasing that. 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."

Odunze is, of course, talking about the records in which Puka Nacua set last year when he caught 105 passes and put up 1486 yards, each a rookie record.

Rome Odunze is looking to not only break a record, but a Bears stereotype

Prior to the Bears drafting Odunze this year, the team had drafted a wideout in each of the past six drafts. That group includes: Tyler Scott, Velus Jones Jr., Dazz Newsome, Darnell Mooney, Riley Ridley, Anthony Miller and Javon Wims.

There's no need to explain that list, as Mooney is the only one who has done anything remotely notable as a pro, to date.

Chicago did not draft a wide receiver in 2017, but did select Daniel Braverman in 2016 and, back in 2015, the Bears took Kevin White in the first round. White was supposed to be the Bears' savior at the position, but injuries derailed the West Virginia product from ever panning out.

Odunze's Bears career nearly started out with disaster, too, as fans gasped when finding out about the rookie being hurt early on at OTAs. But, he managed to work past the minor issue and has looked healthy since the brief scare.

Chicago has not had a rich history of drafting wide receivers, but Odunze is ready to buck the trend. And, it doesn't matter if Moore and Allen are also in Chicago. His desire is to break records.

So be it. The Bears have two first-round rookies, each wanting to make NFL history.

Let's go.