WATCH: New Bears teammates Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze greet each other at NFL Draft

Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze have faced one another before.

On Thursday evening, the Chicago Bears took a step into the future by drafting a couple of potential franchise stalwarts in the form of quarterback Caleb Williams out of USC with the number one overall pick and wide receiver Rome Odunze out of Washington with number nine. Both players had impressive college resumes, as Williams won the Heisman Trophy in 2022 and was widely regarded as the best player in the sport throughout the last two years, while Odunze helped lead Washington all the way to the National Championship game this past season, giving Bears fans more hope for the future direction of the franchise than they’ve had in a good long while.

Of course, Odunze and Williams matched up during their time at college due to the fact that both of their respective schools were a part of the now-defunct Pac-12 conference, meaning the two had front row seats to watch the other in action.

Recently, Odunze recalled his thoughts when watching Caleb Williams eviscerate his Washington Huskies defense.

“It was embarrassing to watch some of the things he was doing to our defense,” said Odunze, per Courtney Cronin of ESPN on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter.

A foundational offseason for the Bears

Heading into the 2024 offseason, there were rampant questions and speculation about what exactly the Bears would elect to do with the number one pick they owned courtesy of a previous trade with the Carolina Panthers, who finished with the worst record in the NFL this past season.

Some speculated that the Bears would elect to hold onto quarterback Justin Fields and instead trade the pick for some value further down the draft, while others assumed that the Chicago brass would opt to elect Williams, regarded as a generational type of prospect by most NFL scouts.

The effective answer to that question came earlier in the offseason when the Bears traded Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for draft compensation that many fans saw as shockingly low.

In any case, the deal opened the door for the arrival of Williams to the organization, which manifested itself on Thursday evening when the talented quarterback’s name was called first by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on the stage in Detroit.

The Bears have already done some planning in the offseason in anticipation for Williams’ arrival which goes beyond just clearing the way for him by trading Fields. Additionally, the team bolstered its wide receiver depth with the acquisition of star Keenan Allen, who most recently played for the Los Angeles Chargers. Meanwhile, with the Odunze selection, the Bars continued to add depth to that area of the field, ensuring that Williams will have the maximum amount of weapons at his disposal when his NFL career gets underway in September.

In any case, the Bears now have several more selections to make in the NFL Draft before the proceedings finish up, and it will be interesting to see what the team brass elects to do in terms of filling out the roster.

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