Prospect Preview: Could Saints draft a replacement for Michael Thomas in first round?

2024 NFL Draft prospect Rome Odunze, if available at pick 14, would answer an emerging need for the New Orleans Saints at wide receiver.
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

With Michael Thomas likely leaving the New Orleans Saints this offseason, the wide receiver position is emerging as a more substantial need. They could sign a couple of receivers in free agency and then roll into 2024 with Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, and A.T. Perry and there wouldn’t be anything wrong with that, or they could look to the 2024 NFL Draft and find an electrifying prospect such as Washington receiver Rome Odunze.

Michael Thomas is listed at 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds. Rome Odunze is almost identical to that, standing at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds. Odunze could go into the season and be a quality day-one starter for the Saints. Last year at Washington, he rallied 1,639 yards and 13 touchdowns on 92 receptions.

Odunze has a lot of hype coming into the draft this year and has the stats to back it up. He possesses a great frame letting him go up and make the contested catches. According to PFF Odunze led all of college football with 21 contested catches. He is easily one of the best 50/50 ball receivers in the draft and should translate that to the NFL.

Rome Odunze is also a tremendously fast and an extremely strong route runner. According to PFF, he led all of college football in deep catches and deep yards. He would pair extremely well with Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, and A.T. Perry making a dynamic offense for Derek Carr to work with. Odunze could provide help to the Saints at every level of the field. He does struggle when pressed on occasion but that should grow better with increased reps and coaching in the NFL.

With Michael Thomas most likely leaving the Saints this offseason, Odunze would be a great replacement that the Saints should put some serious thought into if he is available at the 14th-overall pick. Paired with the other weapons on offense Derek Carr and Klint Kubaik could have great success with an offense that was inconsistent last year.