Top WR Prospect Says ‘It Would Be Awesome’ To Be Drafted By Patriots

Rome Odunze

Getty Images Rome Odunze speaks on SiriusXM at Super Bowl LVIII.

In the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots face a pivotal decision with their early picks, drafting in the top five picks for the first time since 1994 when they selected USC linebacker Willie McGinnest. McGinnest would go on to be a Hall of Famer. While some argue for selecting a new quarterback to revitalize the offense, others advocate for bolstering the receiving corps, which has been depleted in recent seasons, while adding a veteran QB via free agency.

Among the top wide receiver prospects in this year’s draft class is Rome Odunze from the University of Washington. His potential pairing with the Patriots has generated excitement, with Odunze expressing optimism about the prospect during draft preparations at the Super Bowl.

Odunze recently spoke with Patriots Insider Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston and was asked about the idea of joining the Patriots.

“It would be awesome, especially because I’m a West Coast kid. I’ve always wanted to go out to the East Coast and be able to enjoy some of the different things the East Coast has to offer,” Odunze explained to Perry.

“It would be a completely new experience, and I think that would be fun. And to play for a team that’s had so much success in the past and so many great players come through there and Hall of Famers, I would love to be able to play in that standard and play for a fanbase that is passionate and loves the game. I think those different aspects about it create such a desirable location.”

How Good Can Odunze Be?’s Daniel Jeremiah recently released a list of his top 50 NFL Draft prospects, and he listed Odunze third behind USC QB Caleb Williams and WR Marvin Harrison Jr. of Ohio State. Jeremiah had a flattering comparison to an NFL pass-catching legend when describing what he likes about Odunze.

“Odunze is a big, athletic wideout with exceptional hands. He can play outside or in the slot. He is refined and polished in everything he does on the field. He uses a variety of releases at the line of scrimmage and is a clean route runner”, wrote Jeremiah.

“He uses his strength to lean into defenders before separating out of the breakpoint. He thrives in traffic, possessing the ability to pluck the football and absorb big shots over the middle of the field. He makes some incredible adjustments on poorly thrown balls. He tracks naturally over his shoulder. After the catch, he is very tough to bring down and has some nifty make-miss ability. He plays with a ton of passion and energy. Overall, Odunze is a complete player and reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald coming out of college.”

A comparison to NFL legend Larry Fitzgerald is undoubtedly high praise coming from Jeremiah. This evaluation underscores Odunze’s potential impact and highlights the Patriots’ opportunity to infuse their offense with a dynamic playmaker who can contribute immediately while potentially adding more picks by trading the number three pick.

How Could the Patriots Land Odunze?

The Patriots’ passing game is in dire need of rejuvenation, particularly in terms of big-play potential. Despite Kendrick Bourne emerging as the team’s third-leading receiver last season, the offense lacked consistent firepower, highlighting the need for additional talent at the wide receiver position. It’s still yet to be determined if the Patriots will bring Bourne back as he recovers from ACL surgery.

Suppose the Patriots don’t take a quarterback with the number three overall pick. In that case, the consensus is that they need to take top-ranked wide receiver prospect Marvin Harrison Jr. Still, some believe Odunze isn’t far behind Harrison in his skill set and that the Patriots could potentially trade down, secure more draft picks and draft Odunze a bit later in the first round.

In a recent mock draft, Perry of NBC Sports Boston had the Patriots trading with the Falcons. The trade looked like this:

  • Falcons receive: No. 3 pick
  • Patriots receive: No. 8 pick, No. 43 pick and Falcons’ 2025 first-round pick

Perry has the Patriots selecting Odunze with the No. 8 overall pick while adding another second-round pick and a first-round pick for 2025. This would be an excellent way for the Patriots to add a dynamic pass catcher but turn that No. 3 pick into multiple top two-round draft picks.

We’ve also seen mock drafts like the one below from Matt Couture, which break down like this:

  • Giants receive: No. 3 pick
  • Patriots receive: No. 6 pick, No. 39 pick, No. 108 pick, and Giants’ 2025 first-round pick

A move like this allows the Patriots to move back in the draft to acquire more picks but still draft a top-tier WR talent like Odunze if they decide to obtain a QB via free agency.

The Patriots trading down in the first round may not be the popular choice, but adding a dynamic receiver like Odunze, who is excited about the possibility of playing with New England, is very attractive. Especially when you consider that the Patriots could add two or three more top three-round draft picks over the next two seasons.

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