The Cincinnati Bengals received a lot of flack for passing on the top offensive lineman in the 2021 NFL Draft and taking Ja’Marr Chase instead. The team had a major need for offensive line help yet went with a position they didn’t need to address.
Well, it’s worked out perfectly for Cincinnati, as Chase should win Offensive Rookie of the Year for the season he had in 2021. He finished with 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns and had two games where he went for over 200 yards receiving.
As a result, it’s no surprise that the Bengals’ 2021 draft class is considered one of the best by Pro Football Focus, who released their list of the eight best draft classes from a year ago. Cincinnati came in at seventh on the list and Chase was cited as the main reason as to why.
While you have to be a subscriber to read the article, Trevor Sikkema essentially said that it didn’t really matter what the rest of the draft class did, as Chase did enough on his own.
Ja’Marr Chase is why 2021 draft class is one of the best
The rest of the draft class looked like this:
- Round 2: Pick 46 – Jackson Carman
- Round 3: Pick 69 – Joseph Ossai
- Round 4: Pick 111 – Cameron Sample
- Round 4: Pick 122 – Tyler Shelvin
- Round 4: Pick 139 – D’Ante Smith
- Round 5: Pick 149 – Evan McPherson
- Round 6: Pick 190 – Trey Hill
- Round 6: Pick 202 – Chris Evans
- Round 7: Pick 235 – Wyatt Hubert
Three players from this draft class had a PFF grade of at least 75. Chase is obviously one of them (and leads the class with a grade of 83.1) while McPherson graded out at 78.4 and Evans finished with a 75.4 mark.
The rest of the class still has time to prove what they can do and fans definitely want to see more from Carman, Sample, and Smith moving forward. Ossai and Hubert never took the field either, which is certainly something to keep in mind.
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When people — not just Bengals fans — look back at this 2021 draft class, Ja’Marr Chase is going to be the highlight and he’s the reason this draft is a successful one for Cincinnati.