Grading every Bengals first-round pick under Zac Taylor

NFL Combine
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Ja'Marr Chase (5th overall in 2021)

The Bengals got a lot of crap for passing on Penei Sewell with the fifth overall pick and taking Ja'Marr Chase instead. While they could have used the help on the offensive line, is anyone really still mad about them going this route?

Chase, who played with Joe Burrow at LSU, immediately popped off the page as a rookie and finished the 2021 season with 1,455 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. He earned the Offensive Rookie of the Year award for his efforts and it wasn't even a close competition.

In year two, despite missing five games, Chase compiled 87 receptions for 1,046 yards and nine touchdowns. He had more receptions in 2022 than he did as a rookie and that's after he missed five games.

While Sewell would have been a nice addition to the Bengals' offensive line, this team isn't what it is without Chase. He was the right pick.

Grade: A+