Ranking Bengals biggest NFL draft gems of the last decade

2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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2. Ja'Marr Chase

Ja'Marr Chase might not be considered a draft gem to some due to him being the fifth overall pick in 2021, but there was a lot of criticism sent the Bengals' way after they spent the fifth pick on him. A lot of people thought that the Bengals should have gone with Penei Sewell and didn't understand why they were taking a wide receiver when they already had Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.

Well, Chase made those people look dumb real fast when he put up gaudy numbers as a rookie, finishing the year with 1,455 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in 17 starts. He was crowned the Offensive Rookie of the Year and played a huge role in the Bengals reaching the Super Bowl that season.

Chase has continued to be a top receiver in the league, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark every year and being a player that defenses have to game plan for. He might have been the fifth overall pick but the talk surrounding this pick wasn't positive and people don't feel that way about Chase now.

1. Joe Burrow

With the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bengals selected Joe Burrow, who was coming off a college football season for the ages. Burrow has spent four years in the NFL and with the Bengals and while he's unfortunately had two season-ending injuries, in the two seasons where he's been healthy, he's led the Bengals to the AFC Championship Game.

In just his second season in the NFL and first full season as a starter, Burrow helped lead the Bengals to its first Super Bowl appearance since the 1980s. The first overall pick is supposed to do great things for whichever team he's drafted to and Burrow has done that. There aren't Super Bowl rings to show for it yet but it feels like the Bengals are on the verge of getting there as long as Burrow is at the helm.