There seems to be three prospects that could fall to the Bengals and instantly improve their offense. One of them just happens to be one of Joe Burrow’s favorite targets from his historic 2019 season, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Burrow shared his thoughts on his former teammate and what made their connection so special.
“Ja’Marr is a really good player,” Burrow told reporters Tuesday. “It’s pretty easy to throw it to him when he has five yards of separation every snap. He’s an exciting player and a great guy and a friend as well. He was fun to play with.”
When asked if he would be open to reunion Burrow smirked and offered a short reply.
“Yeah I wouldn’t mind.”
Burrow and Chase connected 84 times that added up to 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019, the first year and only year that Chase started for the Tigers. That is quite the connection to reunite in the NFL, but it’s far from a slam dunk to happen.
The draft is unpredictable by nature. Outside of the Jaguars taking Trevor Lawrence with the first pick, there really isn’t anything we can say will happen with absolute confidence. The Jets and Falcons will pick second and fourth-overall, respectively, and both franchises will likely be looking for franchise quarterbacks. Justin Fields and Zach Wilson will represent intriguing options, but either team could go with the top non-quarterback on their board.
There’s also the Penei Sewell variable. Depending on how aggressive Cincinnati attacks the offensive line in free agency, Sewell might be their main target on draft night. The former Oregon left tackle would be a plug and play option at that position and allow the offense to play Jonah Williams at right tackle or inside at guard, which would have a huge impact on this offensive line.
Being the consensus top non-quarterback in the draft already, Sewell is unlikely to fall five picks to the Bengals. Once he’s off the board, the conversation for Bengals fans will likely turn into a debate between Chase and now former Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith.
For as good as Chase is, Smith is getting all the love right now after dominating a season in which Chase sat out. Smith’s 117 catches, 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns made him the first receiver to win the Heisman Trophy in 30 years. He also took home the Maxwell Award as the college football player of the year, the Walter Camp player of the year, and the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver.
It is possible that two of these three players are taken in the first four picks. If any of the four teams is likely to take a receiver, it’s the Dolphins at the third-overall spot. But like the Bengals have Chase’s former quarterback in Burrow, the Dolphins have Smith’s former quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa.
A quarterback-receiver reunion in Miami may be what allows Chase to catch passes from Burrow once more.