Rome Odunze isn’t shying away from the high expectations that come with being a top-10 NFL Draft.

The Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver, who went No. 9 overall in this year’s draft, is setting the bar high for his first pro season.

Puka Nacua, a former teammate of Odunze’s at Washington before transferring to BYU, set a rookie record in 2023, logging 1,486 receiving yards in his first season with the Los Angeles Rams.

Odunze is going in with the goal of besting his old teammate.

“I think that’s important for every player to set those goals and strive for the highest of the highs,” Odunze said in a recent media opportunity. “It’s unique in my situation because I went to school with Puka Nacua, so I was following him and got to see what he did, so, absolutely, I’m chasing that. I think he’s right around 1,500, right? For that rookie season record. Absolutely chasing that.”

Nacua’s mark isn’t the only record Odunze wants to break.

“I think Brandon Marshall has the single-season record here, right?” he said of his team target, per NFL.com.

Marshall logged 1,508 receiving yards in his 2012 season with the Bears, which stands as a franchise record. Odunze appears to see the bigger picture that having big goals is part of helping the team succeed.

“Of course, chasing those records, and I think that’s important because, you know, I said this at Washington, I hopefully leave the Bears organization better than I found it,” the rookie said. “And if I have my name on some of those records, I feel like that’s just one facet of doing so.”

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Oddsmakers have lower bar for Odunze in 2024

While Odunze is setting his sights on a 1,500-yard rookie season, bettors don’t have to have the same expectations for the former Washington wideout.

Odunze is among the receivers included in DraftKings’ player props for the 2024 season. DraftKings has set the over/under at less than half of Odunze’s target.

Both options – over and under 675.5 – are priced at -110. It takes a $110 wager to win $100, which would produce a $210 payout.

DraftKings has notably set the over/under on DJ Moore, a fellow Bears wide receiver, at 950.5 receiving yards in 2024.

Nacua accounted for more than one-third of his team’s 4,300 receiving yards in 2023. That might not seem like a lot, until realizing 15 Rams caught a pass last season.

Nacua became the Rams’ WR1 in part due to Cooper Kupp’s health. Kupp, a first-team All-Pro selection in 2021 as the NFL’s leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, was limited to just 12 games in 2023 while Nacua played all 17. It resulted in Nacua dwarfing Kupp in targets (160 to 95) and receptions (105 to 59).

Injuries are impossible to predict, but if Moore is healthy, it becomes more challenging for Odunze to hit his lofty goal of over 1,500 yards.

Betting on Odunze is also betting on Caleb Williams. While Nacua caught passes from Matthew Stafford, an established gunslinger who entered 2024 with well over 50,000 regular-season passing yards, Odunze will be catching passes from a rookie quarterback.

Bettors have a lot to consider when it comes to Odunze’s rookie season.

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