The Cincinnati Bengals have the fifth-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but if you found your way to this article, I expect you knew that. You probably also know that in all reality the Bengals seem to be down to two options.
With Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts wildly being mocked ahead of the Bengals pick, Cincinnati will get to choose between Oregon tackle Penei Sewell and LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.
The top-three picks are expected to be quarterbacks with Trey Lance and Justin Fields seen as the two top-five quarterback prospects not taken in the top three.
There have been talks that Atlanta could trade back, putting the Bengals prospect, Chase, in jeopardy and being taken off the board. For now, there hasn’t been any shake-up in the top five outside of the 49ers trading up in order to, more than likely, take a quarterback.
That said, let’s dive into who major analysts feel the Bengals will go with as we’re now under 24 hours until the draft.
NFL.com’s Charles Davis — Ja’Marr Chase
“Playmaker extraordinaire for QB Joe Burrow. The Bengals’ top-rated OT is still a strong possibility here, but I think they look to improve the O-line with their next pick.”
ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters (Ben Baby wrote excerpt) — Ja’Marr Chase
The debate all offseason has been Chase or Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell. Bengals exec Duke Tobin has said the team believes the draft isn’t as deep at receiver as it is on the offensive line. Chase gives the Bengals another playmaker on the perimeter and reunites him with quarterback Joe Burrow, his former LSU teammate. Chase will be a strong fit for an offense that primarily uses three wide receivers. — Ben Baby
CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso — Ja’Marr Chase
When you really think about it — it would’ve been strange for the Bengals not to pick Joe Burrow’s top receiver in Round 1.
Pro Football Network’s Benjamin Allbright — Ja’Marr Chase
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner — Ja’Marr Chase
After spending gobs of cash on the defensive side of the ball in free agency, the Bengals have to do something to appease their young franchise quarterback. That means Chase is the pick, as the LSU wideout combined with Joe Burrow to set the PFF College record for deep receptions in 2019 (24).
Yahoo! Sports’ Eric Edholm — Ja’Marr Chase
We’re told it’s Mike Brown’s call here — he’s the owner, duh — and that Chase is the favorite. The Bengals can double back for OL help in Round 2 and beyond.
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah — Penei Sewell
I have been thinking Ja’Marr Chase would be the pick here for a while, with Cincinnati waiting to add offensive line help in the second round. However, it’s starting to look like we could see a major run on offensive tackles late in the first round, which could force the Bengals to take Sewell at No. 5.
It’s finally almost time for the real thing!