Rome Odunze has been drafted by the Chicago Bears with the No. 9 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The former Washington receiver blossomed into a superstar with Michael Penix Jr. throwing him the football in Seattle, becoming just the second receiver in program history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Throughout the pre-draft process, he was labeled the “cleanest” or “most well-rounded” receiver of the top 3 wideout prospects. Though Odunze wasn’t the first receiver off the board Thursday night, he has a chance to be the best.

Odunze was 1 of 3 finalists for the 2023 Biletnikoff Award after a school record 1,640 receiving yards. His yardage was also the third-most by a receiver in Pac-12 history. His 92 receptions fell just 2 shy of tying another UW program record.

He was a consensus first-team All-American who hauled in 13 touchdowns and finished the campaign with 100-yard outings in 10 of his 15 appearances.

Odunze departs Montlake with 3,272 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns during his career. He ranks second all-time in program history in career receptions, second in career receiving yards, and tied for third in career receiving touchdowns.

He becomes Washington’s third first-round draft pick in the last 4 years. Odunze was part of the class that opted to put the NFL on hold and return to UW for the 2023 season; that decision meant Washington went without a single player drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft, but it also led to a Pac-12 title and a College Football Playoff National Championship appearance.

Now, Odunze is UW’s highest-drafted player since John Ross was picked ninth in the 2017 draft.

He joins Ross and Reggie Williams as Washington’s only 3 first-round wide receivers in the modern draft era.

And with Michael Penix Jr. being selected eighth by the Atlanta Falcons, the Huskies have 2 top-10 picks in the same draft for the first time since 1941.