Former LSU star receiver Ja’Marr Chase has exploded onto the scene this season.
The Cincinnati Bengals were widely criticized for taking him as the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Chase was taken right after Kyle Pitts, the first two non-QB players taken off the board.
Many thought the Bengals should’ve opted to select offensive lineman Penei Sewell. However, they knew that unit would be good enough with OL coach Frank Pollack back in the Queen City.
They took Chase without a second thought, and he’s been dynamic ever since.
While Chase did have trouble with drops in the preseason and then the quote regarding his statement on the difference between the NFL and NCAA went viral, many didn’t expect much from Chase.
He’s proven them wrong, securing four touchdowns through the first three weeks. He’s been a game-changer as the team’s best deep threat. Chase hasn’t had a game without a 30-yard reception yet, making him one of the league’s best deep-ball threats.
NFL.com’s Nick Shook analyzed the top-ten deep threats. Ja’Marr Chase was only behind Seattle Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett. That said, here’s what the Around The NFL columnist said on the list’s lone rookie.
“That preseason narrative about Chase being unable to locate the stripe-less NFL ball was clearly overblown, because he’s shredding defenses in his first month as a professional. Chase has already caught 11 passes for 220 yards and four scores. Three of those end zone trips came in highlight-reel fashion, starting with a beauty of a connection between Chase and former LSU teammate Joe Burrow in Week 1. In total, Chase has three catches on deep passes for 126 yards. All three have gone for touchdowns, making Chase the first rookie in the Next Gen Stats era (established in 2016) with a deep touchdown reception in three straight games. Defenses are quickly learning to respect No. 1 downfield,” Shook wrote.
Chase has 17 receptions and 297 yards on the season. He’s been an instrumental part of the Bengals’ 3-1 start. With the Packers on deck, they’ll desperately need Chase to show up in a big way to defeat the Aaron Rodgers-led side.