Jaguars NFL Draft prospect profiles: WR Rome Odunze

With the 2024 NFL Draft quickly approaching, Jaguars Wire is breaking down top prospects at positions of need for Jacksonville via individual scouting profiles.

As Jacksonville is considered a potential trade-up team to target a pass-catcher next week, our next prospect of focus is Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze, who is widely viewed as one of the best players at his position in this year’s pool.

NFL Combine measurements and positional percentiles via MockDraftable. Scouting reports by Jaguars Wire.

WR Rome Odunze, Washington

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) runs with the ball against the Michigan Wolverines during the third quarter in the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Height/weight: 6-foot-2 and ⅞-inches (77th percentile), 212 pounds (75th percentile)

Notable NFL Combine results: 32 ¼-inch arm length (59th percentile), 76 ¾-inch wingspan (52nd percentile), 4.45-second 40-yard dash (69th percentile), 1.52-second 10-yard split (76th percentile), 39-inch vertical jump (85th percentile), 124-inch broad jump (69th percentile), 6.88-second three-cone (66th percentile), 4.03-second 20-yard shuttle (91st percentile) 

College stats (four seasons, 40 games): 214 receptions, 3,272 yards, 24 touchdowns, 15.3 yards per reception, ten rushing attempts, 40 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns 

Scouting report: A consensus four-star recruit from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman in the class of 2020, Odunze committed to Washington over 32 other nationwide scholarship offers. He redshirted the 2020 COVID-19-impacted season before emerging as quarterback Dylan Morris’ primary target in 2021, although he was limited to 41 receptions in an underwhelming Huskies’ offense. 

With Indiana transfer quarterback Michael Penix Jr. leading the charge in 2022-23, Odunze’s production exploded in the second half of his college career, and Washington ascended toward National Championship contention accordingly. Odunze caught 75 passes for a team-leading 1,145 yards and seven touchdowns in 2022, and greatly exceeded those numbers in 2023, with 92 grabs for 1,640 yards and 13 scores. He earned back-to-back First-Team All-Pac-12 nods in that stretch and First-Team All-American honors in 2023.

Odunze has split his career wide receiver snaps at roughly 80% outside and 20% in the slot, and has operated well in both positions. He is adept at beating defensive backs’ cushions on the vertical stem with explosive strides to push deep, adequate hip fluidity to timely turn back to the quarterback and a feel for soft spots in zones. His catch radius is immense, allowing him to routinely make acrobatic catches at different angles and win contested catch battles against good coverage. He is a bigger-bodied receiver and physical with his hands against press coverage and at the route break.

Odunze can continue to sharpen his horizontal route-running prowess as he isn’t as fluid cutting into out-breaking routes and had multiple drops on such plays in 2023. Although his play speed is satisfactory, he won’t serve as a burner-wide receiver at the next level, rather offering complementary speed to quicker pass-catchers in the lineup. Although his ability to stretch out for catches and fight for the ball in the air is superb, Odunze relies on these skills without consistently creating consistent separation on his routes. 

The Jaguars would likely benefit from selecting Odunze in the first round of the draft, by trade or if he manages to slide to the No. 17 pick, as he’d pair well outside opposite recently-signed receiver Gabriel Davis as a legitimate boundary threat for quarterback Trevor Lawrence, while Christian Kirk operates in the slot and stretches the field vertically. 

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire