2024 NFL Draft: Rome Odunze staying ‘cool’ as he gets ready to showcase ‘blue-collar’ game to fans

Rome Odunze will likely be one of the first wide receivers taken off the board in the NFL Draft Thursday night after putting together a stellar collegiate career with the Washington Huskies.

Odunze came on strong for Washington in his last two seasons. 

He caught 75 passes for 1,145 yards and seven touchdowns in 2022. He had 92 catches for 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns as the Huskies advanced to the national championship game last season.

Rome Odunze looks on

Rome Odunze of the Washington Huskies prior to the Pac-12 championship game against the Oregon Ducks at Allegiant Stadium Dec. 1, 2023, in Las Vegas.  (Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images)

By Friday morning, Odunze will likely know which team he will be catching passes for this fall. He could be a top-10 pick with a run on quarterbacks expected early. Odunze, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers are the top receivers.

For now, Odunze’s keeping a level head.


“I’m a pretty cool, calm, collected kind of guy, and that’s exactly how I’m kind of approaching that situation,” he told Fox News Digital. “I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up, and I don’t want to be disappointed with anything if I had picked a favorite team or anything — which I haven’t. I’m just enjoying the process and whatever happens, happens.”

Odunze played at Washington all four years of his collegiate career, which means most of the East Coast probably didn’t get to see him aside from the rare 3:30 p.m. ET game or in the College Football Playoff.

He shared with Fox News Digital what fans should know about him.

Rome Odunze points

Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) catches a pass during the CFP semifinal Sugar Bowl against the Texas Longhorns Jan. 1, 2024, at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. (John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I think that I’m a pretty complete wide receiver,” he said. “I think that I provide a lot of skills to an offense and versatility to an offense. And I think I do it in a pretty blue-collar way. Not too loud, but I love to be hype and feel the emotions of the game as well.

“But just someone who is going to go in there and work hard and hopefully make any fan base proud and happy to continue to root me on. But that’s something I can show you better than I can tell you.”


Odunze and former Washington teammate Michael Penix Jr. partnered with Sharpie ahead of the draft. Odunze said he’s going to be teaming with the company for his entire rookie season and will be using Sharpie S-Gel Pens to sign his rookie contract and autographs.

He went through a Sharpie Signature Combine with Penix to get ready for when the first pro contract comes.

Rome Odunze vs Michigan

Rome Odunze of the Washington Huskies warms up before the 2024 CFP national championship game against the Michigan Wolverines at NRG Stadium Jan. 8, 2024, in Houston.  (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

“I used to do that as a kid a lot,” he told Fox News Digital when asked if he was practicing his signature. “Any time I switched up the signature I want to perfect it. There was a good amount of time where I was filling up sheets of paper with signatures to kind of get it right.”

Odunze has had some practice already using his signatures. He said fans have already asked him to sign a number of items, including a drawing of him when he was playing for the Huskies.

The NFL Draft starts Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET.

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