The Chargers are committed to building around Justin Herbert. That is one of their top priorities as they continue their search for a new head coach and general manager who can make that plan come to fruition as soon as possible before the quarterback’s best years are behind him.
That plan means we can likely deduce a select few positions in this year’s draft that should and will be targeted with their first-round pick. Sitting at No. 5, the Chargers will essentially have their pick of any offensive skill player not named Marvin Harrison Jr.
With that in mind, one of the voices of the Chargers and current NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently put out a new first-round mock draft that has the Bolts selecting another wideout in the first round in consecutive drafts. While LSU’s Malik Nabers has been the common name here among the top receivers to go at No. 5, Jeremiah believes another wideout could be a better fit should the Chargers stay pat and make a selection: Washington’s Rome Odunze.
“Odunze is my favorite player in the draft,” says Jeremiah. “He’s a complete receiver. The Chargers have salary-cap decisions to make about Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. This would be a home run addition for Justin Herbert.”
Odunze is coming off a final collegiate season in which helped the Washington Huskies make the College Football Playoff National Championship before losing to the Michigan Wolverines. He finished the season with 1,640 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns, the former of which led the nation. As a junior in 2022, he was still very productive with 1,145 yards and another eight touchdowns. Both seasons, Odunze garnered First-Team All-Pac 12 honors with consensus All-American honors capping off his career in 2023.
At 6’3 and 215 pounds, Odunze has prototypical NFL size with ideal speed and athletic ability to match. He lined up all over the formation for the Huskies as they tried to maximize his shot at drawing defensive mismatches. Whether it’s speed to stack cornerbacks on the outside or a surprising amount of wiggle that puts linebackers in a blender, Odunze has the makings of a YAC monster. I know that line sounds a little too much like last year’s first-round pick Quentin Johnston, but I can’t express enough how different the two found their success in college. Just slap on the film and you’ll see a player that won in a myriad of ways.
How do you all feel about this pick for the Chargers at fifth overall? Is Odunze the guy the Chargers need? Is fifth overall too high? Let me know all of your thoughts below!