Rome Odunze Mar 1, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze (WO22) talks to the media during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Rome Odunze showed many people something special Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine, and ironically, he did that by failing at a drill.

The Washington Huskies wide receiver is widely expected to be a top-10 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft based largely on the All-American’s body of work in college. So he had nothing to prove at the scouting combine.

But Odunze apparently felt he had something to prove, at least to himself. After running the 3-Cone Drill, the wide receiver kept running it again and again, trying to meet his target goal.

NFL Network reporters Stacey Dales and Jamie Erdahl, like everyone else, were surprised by Odunze’s determination.

“His target was to hit below a 6.6 (seconds),” Dales reported. “He’s now done four. This will be his fifth attempt. He is the last player out here doing anything. I’ve never seen anything like this at the combine. And this is a top-1o pick.”

“We came down here and said, ‘Rome, what are you doing, you’re the last one out here.?'” Erdahl said. “He said, ‘I’m trying to be faster, trying to be better.’

“The officials were telling him ‘You have a time already.’ He won’t accept it.”

As Dales and Erdahl watched in amazement, Odunze made his fifth attempt, and once again tipped one of the cones. He ended up falling short of his 6.6-second goal, posting a best time of 6.88, fourth-fastest among wide receivers.

Yet his determination won him serious respect.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.