Next Pats Podcast

Draft prospect Rome Odunze says ‘it would be awesome' to play for Patriots

Rome Odunze is one of the top WR prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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The New England Patriots would be wise to select a wide receiver early in the 2024 NFL Draft, whether that's with the No. 3 overall pick or during Day 2 in the second or third rounds.

One of the best wide receivers in this year's class is Rome Odunze out of Washington.

Our Patriots insider Phil Perry has published three 2024 NFL mock drafts so far. One of them explores a scenario where the Patriots trade down to No. 8 in a deal with the Atlanta Falcons and select Odunze in that spot.

Perry caught up with Odunze at Super Bowl LVIII Radio Row in Las Vegas earlier this month and asked the talented wideout what it would mean to him to play in New England.

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"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 told Perry on NBC Sports Boston's Next Pats Podcast.

"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."

When asked what word he would use to describe his skill set, the former Huskies star said "attack."

"I would say attack because in the blocking game and passing game I'm looking to go impose my will on a defender," Odunze told Perry. "I'm making sure my body is in position to catch a ball. When it's in the air it's mine. I'm always looking to take the advantage, and on offense that's what it's about. It's about attacking the defense and not waiting for them to come do something to you."

Odunze is an exciting prospect for a lot of reasons. He has great size (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), he has impressive quickness, his route running is fantastic, he blocks well and he often played at a high level in the most important games for the Huskies.

He tallied 100-plus receiving yards in 10 of his 15 games for Washington in 2023, including the College Football Playoff semifinal and Pac-12 Championship Game. He tallied fewer than 82 receiving yards in a game only once last season. In total, Odunze tallied 92 receptions for 1,640 yards (most in the nation) and 13 touchdowns. 

Odunze has generally come off the board in the No. 7 to No. 15 range in most mock drafts. Some experts view LSU's Malik Nabers as the second-best wide receiver in the class after Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr., while others see Odunze as the No. 2 player at the position. 

Taking a quarterback with the No. 3 pick probably makes the most sense for the Patriots, but moving down in the order, stockpiling more picks, and taking an NFL-ready wide receiver such as Odunze isn't a bad idea, either.

Also in this episode:

  • Why the combine is a big deal for the new Patriots regime
  • How the Patriots can benefit from salary cap increase
  • These receivers will blow away the NFL combine
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