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Bears WR Rome Odunze 'absolutely chasing' Puka Nacua's rookie receiving record

Chicago Bears rookie receiver Rome Odunze has high expectations entering the NFL.

The No. 9 overall pick is targeting the yardage record that Puka Nacua set last year. Odunze spent a year at Washington in 2020 with Nacua before the latter transferred to BYU in 2021.

"I think that's important for every player to set those goals and strive for the highest of the highs," Odunze said on Wednesday. "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 1,486 yards last season broke the record set by Bill Groman in 1960 (14 games). The Rams wideout also netted 105 catches, besting Jaylen Waddle's 104 in 2021 for most receptions by a rookie.

Oduze's chase isn't stopping there.

"I think Brandon Marshall has the single-season record here, right?" he said of his team target.

Brandon Marshall owns the Bears' single-season receiving yardage mark of 1,508. Odunze added that he's also chasing the legendary Johnny Morris, who famously still holds the Bears' career receiving record with 5,059, the fewest of any of the 32 clubs.

"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," he said. "And if I have my name on some of those records, I feel like that's just one facet of doing so."

Odunze owns the talent to chase all the records. However, in an offense with DJ Moore and Keenan Allen, he might not see enough targets in Year 1 to break Nacua's record. But, heck, who thought a year ago that a fifth-rounder on the L.A. Rams would break a record that stood for 63 years? Crazier things have happened than Odunze going off as a rookie.

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