The Cincinnati Bengals took a lot of heat for selecting LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase with the fifth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Fast forward 10 months later and the stripes are in the Super Bowl with Chase playing a major role in getting them to this point.
Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report did a redraft of the 2021 NFL Draft and the Bengals didn’t have an opportunity to make the same pick, as Chase went No. 4 overall to the Atlanta Falcons.
Here’s what was said by Moton:
"Following the departure of Jones, coupled with the uncertainty around Ridley, the Falcons need a go-to receiver, and they would have a chance to take the best one in this class at No. 4."
With Chase off the board, the Bengals decided to stick with adding a pass-catcher but at a different position. They go with Florida tight end Kyle Pitts No. 5 overall, meaning Chase and Pitts simply swapped spots in this redraft.
"While wideouts Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd can soak up more targets, the Bengals could replace a good chunk of Chase’s production with Pitts. Cincinnati can run two-tight-end sets with him and C.J. Uzomah to field an electric top-10 aerial attack—a key element in the club’s run to the Super Bowl."
Pitts was certainly in the mix to be the Bengals’ pick but he was off the board when Cincy went to make their selection in round one. No one is giving either team grief for their selection but yeah, in a redraft situation, it’s not surprising to see Chase go ahead of Pitts.
Bengals miss out on Ja’Marr Chase in redraft of 2021 draft
For what it’s worth, the first three picks off the board were all quarterbacks. Trevor Lawrence still went No. 1 overall to the Jaguars while the Jets took Justin Fields second overall and Trey Lance was the third overall pick still, heading to San Francisco.
Chase would have given Matt Ryan the constant wide receiver threat the team needed this season, as they traded Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley took some time off during the season. Pitts was great for them, however, totaling 1,026 yards but only finding the end zone once.
While Pitts was great, the Falcons being such a dumpster fire took away from the special things he was able to do. The same would probably have happened to Chase had he landed in Atlanta, so he should thank his lucky stars he got to reunite with Joe Burrow instead of catching passes from 36-year-old Ryan on the downswing of his career.
Now, Pitts in Cincinnati’s offense would have been a lot of fun to watch. He’d have been the immediate TE1 and definitely would have been a favorite weapon of Burrow’s. The only bad thing here is that the addition of Pitts probably would have led to the Bengals trading C.J. Uzomah and that’d have been unfortunate since he’s a fan favorite.
"Bengals 3-round mock draft: Cincinnati adds help to defensive front"
Oh for what it’s worth — Penei Sewell isn’t a top 10 pick in this redraft, falling to No. 11 and becoming a member of the Bears’ offensive line.
What do you think of this redraft situation? Could you have seen Kyle Pitts in this offense?