Bengals Rookies With Most to Prove – No. 2: Ja’Marr Chase
The Bengals surprised a lot of people when they passed on offensive tackle Penei Sewell and instead went with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Wide receiver wasn’t a position of need for the Bengals, as they had Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins already as their top two options.
Chase’s connection with Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is likely why the team went in this direction but it definitely puts more pressure on Chase. Now the LSU product has to prove that he was worthy of the No. 5 overall pick and passing on the top tackle prospect in the draft.
This pick might be heavily scrutinized even if Chase balls out though so it might be a lose-lose situation for the speedy wideout. Even if he has 1,000+ yards and double-digit touchdowns, it won’t matter if the offensive line struggles to protect Burrow. But, him securing those numbers would definitely see people being less critical of Chase himself and focusing the criticism more so on the Bengals, which is pretty much what we’ve been seeing anyway.
Chase still has a ton to prove as a rookie because the Bengals took him over a major area of concern. If he’s not good for one or two extra wins, people are going to be critical.