II: A WR who could push Kupp and Nacua for playing time?
There is no doubt in my mind that the LA Rams will be targeting the wide receiver position in the 2024 NFL Draft. But will that interest result in the team emerging with a record setter like WR Puka Nacua, or with a player who struggles to get playing time like WR Tutu Atwell? Ultimately, any receiver who hopes to see any significant amount of playing time has to be durable, fearless, willing to block players twice his size, catch anything thrown near him, and maintain a positive outlook through it all. Washington WR Rome Odunze may check all of the boxes.
Let's not try to fool anyone. Odunze is not Ohio State's WR Marvin Harrison Jr., a player who tops many draft boards and some mock drafts have coming off as the first overall selection of the 2024 NFL Draft. But Rome Odunze could fall far enough to be within reach for the Rams to consider. And should that happen, he would be a remarkably ideal addition to the team's receiver room.
Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 215 pounds, he has an intimidating physical presence that would serve him well in HC Sean McVay's offense. The team has struggled to fully optimizing taller receivers, having parted ways with 6-foot-3 WR Josh Reynolds, and 6-foot-5 TE/WR Jacob Harris. Could third time be the charm?
There is plenty to love about Odunze, and even more when set up to succeed in McVay's pass-happy offense. He already is listed among Bruce Feldman's athletic freaks, an impressive starting point for any receiver. But Rome Odunze brings so much more to the table. He is already getting high praise for his YAC (yards after the catch), has the size and power to make and stick with blocks, has impressive speed, and exhibits great balance and body control. He has soft hands that seem to catch anything and a catch radius of Stretch Armstrong. Best of all, he instinctively knows the holes in zone coverage and sits in space to await the pass.
He may not be the polished superstar rookie who will shatter Puka Nacua's rookie receiver records, but he has all the makings of a third and dependable receiver in this offense. And should the team need him to step up for a larger role, has has plenty of capacity to do so seamlessly.