Bengals selecting LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase is bold over safe pick

Dec 28, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

The Bengals selection of LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft was the bold pick. Chase was likely chosen over Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell. Chase is an elite receiver and playmaker. Cincinnati has a WR who can take the top off a defense that they needed.

Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins instantly provide the Bengals with a top-five WR corps with the potential to be the best in the NFL. Chase and Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow teamed together at LSU in 2018 and 2019. In those two seasons, Chase had 107 receptions for 2,093 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Chase is a perfect fit for a Bengals offense that used three WR sets 82 percent of the time in 2020. Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor will have a lot of versatility on offense with Chase, Higgins and Taylor at WR. The experience that Chase has playing with Burrow should allow him to acclimate to Cincinnati immediately.

Chase won the Biletnikoff Award as the best receiver in FBS in 2019 with 84 receptions for 1,780 yards and 20 TDs, all SEC records. The LSU offense was innovative with Burrow, Chase and Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson. Chase showed how elite he was in the National Championship Game after the 2019 season.

On the big stage in the Superdome in New Orleans in front of the Bayou Bengals home fans, Chase had nine receptions for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Burrow through for 463 yards and five TDs in the Tigers’ 42-25 victory over Clemson. The Bengals have the potential to be one of the best offenses in the NFL if they are healthy.

Higgins finished with 88 total yards and a TD against LSU. With Burrow, the WR corps and running back Joe Mixon the Bengals have skill players on offense that can compete with anyone in the NFL. With Chase now on the roster, the Bengals will likely draft an offensive lineman in round two on Friday night.

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Chase improved greatly in college. In the Class of 2018, Chase was the 15th ranked WR. Three years later Chase was the first WR off the board in the NFL Draft. It will be fun to watch Chase, Boyd and Higgins. Sewell was the safe pick. The Bengals went bold for once and chose the player with a higher ceiling.