The Bengals should take every opportunity to improve the offensive line, which probably means if Penei Sewell is available, they should take him with the fifth-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. That would mean instant improvement from Joe Burrow and the offense while also better protecting the franchise QB from another disastrous injury.
But what if it comes down to a receiver - like Ja’marr Chase - or tight end Kyle Pitts?
On the one hand, there’s chemistry there between Burrow and Chase from their days at LSU. And the team doesn’t have a wide receiver with that kind of ceiling or game-breaking ability on the roster.
On the other hand, when you look at postseason success, you realize having an elite wide receiver isn’t necessary.
Burrow has been compared to Tom Brady due to his personality traits and charisma. They both take winning very seriously and get others to believe that they can achieve it. And neither was ever a contender for strongest arm in the league. Brady has now won four Super Bowls with perhaps the greatest tight end in history, Rob Gronkowski. He’s also seen his stats improve significantly when Gronk has played.
Brady just won Super Bowl MVP despite his top wide receiver, Mike Evans, only accounting for 31 yards on one catch. Next was Antonio Brown with five receptions for 22 yards and then Chris Godwin hauling in two catches for a grand total of nine yards. On the other side of the ball, it was Travis Kelce who led the Kansas City Chiefs in receiving yards (with 133), not Tyreek Hill (who had 73).
Unless you consider Julian Edelman an elite receiver, the only recent star wideout to be his QB’s top option in the Super Bowl was Hill when the Chiefs won the big game last year. Gronkowski, meanwhile, has 270 yards and 4 touchdowns in his last three Super Bowl appearances.
Pitts’ athletic profile is exceptional. He may not be the next Gronkowski, but he is predicted to make a similar sort of impact. And, like the future Hall of Famer, Pitts will be drafted at only 20-years-old, though he is certain to be taken earlier than Gronkowski, who lasted until the second round.
It makes sense to find a big, reliable target for a young QB like Burrow, especially when Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd have already demonstrated that they can be consistent playmakers on the outside and in the slot. The team could always find a speedster to help keep defenses honest in free agency.
Jake Liscow of “Locked on Bengals” joined us to discuss what the team needs to do this offseason. You can watch below:
You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: