Ranking every Bengals first-round pick of the Zac Taylor era
2. Ja'Marr Chase
People were taken aback when the Bengals opted to draft Ja'Marr Chase with the fifth overall pick over Penei Sewell in the 2021 NFL Draft. They desperately needed to add to their offensive line so going with a wide receiver -- a position that had plenty of talent -- instead of the best o-lineman available was puzzling, to say the least.
It's safe to say that now that we've seen Chase play, we know this was the right decision for Cincinnati. Chase proved from Week 1 of the regular season that he was the correct pick for the Bengals, as he had five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut.
Chase finished his rookie year with 81 receptions for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns and ended up winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He played a massive role in the Bengals getting to the Super Bowl, that's for sure.
In year two, despite missing five games to injury, Chase finished with more receptions than he had in a fully healthy rookie season with 87 and still managed to go over the 1,000-yard mark with 1,046 yards and nine trips into the end zone.
In most cases, Chase would be a team's best first-round pick in a four-year span but the No. 1 choice won't shock anyone.