10 best first-round draft picks in Bengals history

2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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7. Isaac Curtis

The Bengals selected a wide receiver with the 15th overall pick in the 1973 draft. Coming into the draft Curtis had only played one year of football. He caught the eye of Cincy’s front office on the track.

Curtis ran a sub-10-second 100-yard dash on the University of California’s track and field team. Paul Brown decided to take a chance on him and his risk paid off, as Curtis played 12 seasons all in Cincinnati.

He was consistent in his play and was a significant player during his entire time in the black and orange. He racked up over 7,000 receiving yards and 53 touchdowns in his 12 seasons. He also made four Pro Bowls and was a second-team All-Pro three times.

Curtis was honored by getting his name in the Bengals Ring of Honor. Upon his retirement, his long-time quarterback Ken Anderson said “Isaac was Jerry Rice before Jerry Rice”.

6. Ja'Marr Chase

Cincinnati was struggling to protect Joe Burrow, so much so that he tore his MCL and ACL during his rookie season. So, when they decided to take a wide receiver with the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft there was a lot of criticism from analysts and fans alike.

In the preseason the criticism got worse because Ja’Marr Chase kept dropping passes. Everyone began to worry that the front office had not changed and were still whiffing on picks and in the pits of the AFC is where they’d stay.

Then, when Chase finally got to play again with Joe Burrow everyone forgot about all the critiques they were heaping on Cincy and began praising what geniuses they were for taking Chase.

Chase gave the Bengals and Burrow a deep threat that at any moment can blow a game wide open, which is what he did several times over. He finished his rookie season with 1,455 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.

This franchise only has two players in the NFL Hall of Fame. It is early in their career but it’s not crazy to say that Chase will find his way into Canton one day.