Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze: How the large 3 WRs in 2024 NFL draft might help the Bears

Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze: How the large 3 WRs in 2024 NFL draft might help the Bears

Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze: How the big 3 WRs in 2024 NFL draft can help the Bears initially appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Would the Bears have the option to withstand the chance to pair Caleb Williams, the presumptive No. 1 total decide on this yr’s draft, with a premier go catcher within the first spherical? That’s one of many massive questions that surrounds the workforce with the draft simply over three weeks away.

The Bears have a number of wants and a number of other choices to think about with their No. 9 decide. If an enormous run on offensive gamers comes, as anticipated, they might have the chance to take the primary or second go rusher off the board to pair with Montez Sweat. Perhaps they draft an offensive sort out for the second yr in a row to assist guarantee Williams is well-protected. Or maybe they decide a dynamite large receiver within the hopes that he works with Williams for a decade.

The final query is particularly intriguing, as a result of draft specialists imagine there are three large receivers on this yr’s draft who’re so proficient that they might all have an opportunity to be the primary WR drafted in different, much less WR crowded, lessons. These guys are Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze, they usually’ve come to be often known as the “massive three.”

For those who’re simply starting to dig into draft evaluation, we’ve received you lined. Right here, we’re going to dive into what makes every of those three gamers particular, why the Bears may need to draft them, and what it might take for the workforce to have the possibility to take action.


Harrison Jr. entered the 2023 season because the presumptive WR1 on this yr’s class, with some draft specialists calling him probably the most proficient participant total. He didn’t disappoint over the course of the yr.

Harrison Jr. can do all of it and beats defenses in a wide range of methods. He’s nice off the road, he’s an exquisite route runner and boasts phenomenal palms when catching the ball.

What makes Harrison Jr.’s playmaking much more spectacular is that he strikes the best way he does regardless of being an enormous dude. He’s listed at 6’3”, 209 lbs., which might make him the tallest goal on the Bears and simply two kilos shy of Keenan Allen. But he strikes like among the smaller receivers within the draft. Specialists say Harrison Jr.’s can run each route on the tree and his method is superior in comparison with most prospects.

Over the previous two seasons, Harrison Jr. caught 144 passes for two,474 yards and 28 touchdowns– improbable numbers in every class. He gained the Biletnikoff Award in 2023, which acknowledges one of the best large receiver within the nation and completed fourth in Heisman voting. Past the uncooked expertise, method and manufacturing, Harrison Jr. has additionally been lauded for his top-notch work ethic and supreme aggressive drive.

Whilst some studies floor that some groups may favor Nabers over Harrison Jr. resulting from Nabers’ unimaginable explosive means, it might be beautiful if Harrison Jr. was nonetheless on the board by the point the Bears’ No. 9 decide rolls round. A method that occurs is a much bigger run on each QBs and offensive tackles than most anticipate. The opposite approach is that if one thing sudden occurred to scare NFL groups away. There’s no purpose to imagine something like that may occur, so I’m reluctant to even point out it, aside from to squash fringe pondering on the subject. More than likely, somebody will seize the chance so as to add an extremely proficient participant at a particularly premium place.

If the Bears need Harrison Jr., they’ll most likely have to maneuver as much as get him. And in the event that they need to do this, they’ll must hope there’s not a lot competitors. As issues stand, the Bears’ subsequent decide after No. 9 is No. 75. The Bears do have an additional second-round decide subsequent yr because of the commerce they made in 2023 to ship the No. 1 decide to Carolina, however there are numerous different groups who can cough up extra this yr to outbid the Bears.

Briefly, quite a bit must go proper for Harrison Jr. to land in Chicago.


When of us discuss a large receiver supplanting Harrison Jr. as the highest pass-catcher within the draft, it’s nearly at all times Nabers. That’s as a result of he’s thought-about probably the most explosive receiver of the large three.

Based on PFF, Nabers’ 3.81 yards/route run topped the group in 2023, with Harrison Jr. at 3.44 and Odunze at 3.09, regardless of garnering simply 10 extra targets than every of them. That’s additionally regardless of having the shortest common depth of goal among the many massive three. On common, Nabers was focused 12.5 yards downfield whereas Harrison Jr. was focused 13.1 yards downfield and Odunze was focused 16.2 yards downfield.

The reason: Nabers did extra after the catch than the opposite two. That’s largely as a result of his 30 missed tackles pressured tremendously overshadowed the 12 missed tackles pressured by Odunze and the 5 from Harrison Jr., per PFF.

Additional, NFL groups can already venture extra methods to make use of Nabers from his faculty expertise. Based on PFF, Nabers break up his time almost evenly between lining up the slot and out large in 2023, and he thrived in every state of affairs. Harrison Jr. solely spent 19.4% of his snaps within the slot in 2023 and 13.7% of his snaps there in 2022. Odunze was lined up inside 17.4% of the time in 2023 and 15.8% of the time in 2022. In 2021, Odunze was the slot receiver 54.7% of the time in 2021 however was not almost as prolific as he turned later.

That’s to not say Odunze and Harrison Jr. can’t get the job accomplished within the center, they simply don’t have the identical monitor document as Nabers. Accordingly, a workforce that basically wants a slot receiver to enhance their exterior go catchers could possibly be extra inquisitive about him than the others.

One purpose of us argued that the Bears may not be inquisitive about Nabers is that one in all his frequent NFL comps is DJ Moore. The thought was that the workforce may need to diversify the skillsets with their WR2, however now that Allen is within the fold as a second exterior receiver, it doesn’t appear to be an enormous deal to have one other Moore-type within the offense. Allen can fill the position of the bigger-bodied goal.

As talked about earlier, nevertheless, current studies say some groups imagine Nabers is the WR1 over Harrison Jr., so there’s an opportunity he’s gone earlier than the Bears decide at No. 9. If Ryan Poles has Nabers circled as his man, one of the best ways to make sure he turns into a Bear is to commerce up for him. In any other case the Bears must hope a run on quarterbacks, offensive tackles and perhaps a few defensive gamers pushes him down the board.


If Harrison Jr. is probably the most polished total receiver and Nabers is the explosive YAC-attack man, then Odunze is the contested-catch, deep risk standout.

Try his resume from 2023 amongst WRs with 100 targets by way of the postseason: 1,639 yards (1st), 74 first downs (1st), 21 contested catches (1st), 75% contested catch charge (1st), 15.5 yard common depth of goal (2nd), 13 TDs (t-4th), 3.2% drop charge (sixth). Neither Harrison Jr. nor Nabers match as much as Odunze in that full group of classes.

A part of the explanation Odunze succeeds as a deep risk is due to his nice focus and palms. It doesn’t matter what’s occurring round him, Odunze does an incredible job of focusing to make a play on the ball. Another excuse he does effectively downfield is as a result of he’s received nice measurement, and he is aware of learn how to use it. At 6’3” and 212 kilos, he could be the most important goal among the many Bears’ high large receivers.

If Odunze lands in Chicago, his monitor document on the skin would enable the Bears to play Allen extra within the slot the place he thrives. He may additionally take the highest off the protection in order that Allen and Moore can work the intermediate and quick components of the sphere the place every man is nice at getting open.

In fact the Bears haven’t had a constantly dependable deep risk in a few years. Poles has tried to fill the void with draft picks like Velus Jones Jr. and Tyler Scott, however neither man has carried out convincingly within the position, in an admittedly small pattern measurement. Both man nonetheless has time to grow to be the deep risk that the Bears imagined after they picked them, however Odunze would develop into one of the best younger vertical choice instantly.

None of that is meant to indicate Odunze is a one-trick pony, nevertheless. The truth is, Reception Notion says he’s profitable operating each single route on the tree. That is unusual.

Once more, there’s an opportunity Odunze isn’t obtainable when the Bears decide at No. 9. If a workforce selecting a WR likes his deep risk functionality greater than Nabers’ yards after catch specialty, it could possibly be Nabers who falls. Or perhaps the NFL isn’t as excessive on a go rusher like Dallas Turner and solely offensive gamers come off the board with the primary eight picks.

It’s too early to inform how issues will play out, and there can be surprises alongside the best way as there are yearly. But when the Bears need to decide a top-10 large receiver, it’s going to possible be one in all these three guys.

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