Chicago Bears draft Washington WR Rome Odunze at No. 9, adding another weapon for QB Caleb Williams

The Chicago Bears drafted a wide receiver to pair with their new quarterback with the ninth pick Thursday night.

After selecting USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick, Bears general manager Ryan Poles chose Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze at No. 9.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Odunze had 92 catches for an FBS-best 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns in an All-America senior season in 2023. Over a four-year career, he had 214 catches for 3,272 yards with 24 touchdowns.

He joins a wide receivers room that includes DJ Moore and Keenan Allen. Williams held a throwing session in Los Angeles with all three receivers earlier this month, and when he and Odunze took the same plane to the draft in Detroit, Williams announced on social media that he was a “big fan.”

Likewise, Odunze is a fan of Williams.

“He has tremendous arm talent,” Odunze told reporters in Detroit during predraft activities Wednesday. “He’s a great person. He handles the criticism and the media that is thrown at him very well. He continues to be his own person, which is very commendable.

“On top of that, he’s a tremendous football player. You guys have watched the film. He’s a special talent.”

After Williams, the draft went as projected by most for the first several picks. The Washington Commanders selected LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, the New England Patriots took North Carolina QB Drake Maye and the Arizona Cardinals picked Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. The Los Angeles Chargers took Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt at No. 5, and the New York Giants picked LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers.

But the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons shook things up at Nos. 7 and 8, selecting Alabama offensive tackle JC Latham and Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. That allowed Odunze to fall to the Bears.