Latest PFF mock draft projects Joe Burrow Bengals reunion with WR Ja’Marr Chase

STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The lastest Pro Football Focus mock draft projects Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, to be reunited with his former wide receiver at LSU Ja’Marr Chase with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Bengals have a few different directions they can go with their first pick.

Chase led LSU with 1,780 receiving yards and 20 receiving touchdowns during the Tigers’ 2019 National Championship season. Minnesota Vikings star and 2020 NFL Rookie of the Year Candidate Justin Jefferson led the Bayou Bengals with 111 receptions. Chase was second with 84.

The addition of Chase would provide Burrow with another deep threat in the passing game that often struggled in that category in 2019. Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins provide Cincinnati with a good foundation to build on in their passing game for the future. Chase would provide the Bengals with an NFL ready WR.

The speculation on who the Bengals will select with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft often centers around Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell. Most projections are that if Sewell lasts until the fifth pick Cincinnati will draft him. The Bengals also have needs for an edge rusher and at linebacker early in the NFL Draft.

"5. CINCINNATI BENGALS: WR JA’MARR CHASE, LSUWhile Bengals fans would have loved Sewell to shore up the offensive line, Chase could end up being even better for their offense in the long term. He reunites with former LSU teammate Joe Burrow and gives the Bengals a solid route-runner who simply knows how to win at the catch point at each level of the field.Burrow does need better protection, but receivers who get open quickly also protect the quarterback, and Chase produced a 91.1 PFF grade in 2019 while averaging 21.2 yards per reception."

Chase opted out of the 2020 season. With Burrow and Jefferson moved on to the NFL it would have been a good test to see how Chase would have performed with defenses game-planning more specifically for him. Chase

led the nation in 2019 in receptions

of 10, 20, 30 and 50 or more yards.

Chase is a proven big-play receiver. Higgins led Cincinnati averaging 13.6 yards per reception in 2020. Boyd averaged 10.6 YPR. The Bengals finished 28th in the NFL in 2020 averaging 5.9 yards per attempt. Burrow was 24th averaging 6.7 yards per attempt and 28th averaging 10.2 yards per completion.

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The addition of Chase to the Cincinnati offense would significantly upgrade a downfield passing game that definitely needs it. A trio of Boyd, Chase and Higgins would give Burrow three playmakers that would strain opposing defenses. In the new NFL, playmakers are offense is more essential than ever.