Bengals OC Brian Callahan says 1R pick Ja’Marr Chase best player for us
On Thursday night, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan gave us the words we needed to hear. Not necessarily with the words we wanted to hear, but the one’s that we needed when he said that first-round pick, LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was “the best player for us.”
In his press conference talking about the selection of Ja’marr Chase, the third-year OC had the best response as to why the team chose the LSU receiver over all others. “You’ve done all the homework and had the conversations and stacked the board the way you see it. And you just gotta stay true to those things.
And I think the guys that are going to get taken on the offensive line here in this first round are going to be really good players. It was just really, ultimately, Ja’Marr Chase was, we felt like, the best player for us in the draft.”
As a Bengals fan, that should be all you need to know. It does not matter if you were “Team” Chase, Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, or trade back. Like it or not, organizations that use the draft to acquire the “best player available” over perceived “needs” are usually the ones that succeed.
Every team, one-hundred percent of them, whether it is actually true or not, talks about choosing the best player available when they make their selection. Good teams do not draft out need. Yes, the Bengals could use upgrades along the offensive line. But, that is what free agency should be used for.
That is the argument for spending in free agency. Fill needs so that you can draft the best player available. There is no doubt this was the case here. Perceived “need” did not win over “best player” in the organization’s point of view. Now, there is the question of if the team did enough in free agency to address needs.
There is a debate if Chase was truly the best player at that point. However, the fact that Callahan says that it the case should help reassure fretful Bengals fans. Furthermore, it speaks to practicing what all teams preach, the best player available. Will this continue in the second round? We do not know. We should hope so.
The Bengals should not pass on a player from another position if they sincerely believe that he would provide more value to the team than a middle-of-the-road offensive lineman. Perhaps these two things will line up on day two and an offensive lineman will actually be the best player available in their eyes.
But if this is not the case, why pass on a defensive end who could potentially provide eleven sacks in his rookie year, for example, to draft a lineman who would not be an upgrade over those currently on the roster. It is not about drafting just any lineman in the second round.
It is about identifying the players who can help the team win immediately. Regardless of the position he plays. When it comes to the first-round pick, Callahan told us what we needed to know. They went with the best player, regardless of need.