Regardless of whether the Bengals select Ja’Marr Chase in the first round, they could have a true star at wideout next year.
ESPN’s Ben Baby joined our show to discuss the NFL Draft. In telling us why he doesn’t agree that Ja’Marr Chase should be the pick, he provided some great insight on second-year receiver Tee Higgins. Baby said:
“I think Tee has the potential to be a WR1. I thought he looked really good, and the thing is: he is really young. I talked to his old position coach at Clemson. I remember he told me right after the Bengals drafted him, they said, ‘His rookie year is not going to be anything like his second year, because he’s still so raw athletically.’ So he’s really going to come into his own in 2021. So this is going to be Tee Higgins’ breakout year.”
Baby made some other excellent points about the receiver corps. He argued that Higgins and Tyler Boyd are more in need of a complementary receiver than an elite talent like Chase. He acknowledged A.J. Green’s high target total from last year, but noted that most of those targets came early in the season or in what was known to be his last game for Cincinnati, as a sort of sendoff.
To support Baby’s larger argument, Green had five games with nine or more targets, and all of them came before Week 12.
In other words, as the season wore on, Green became less of a point of emphasis. There’s no reason to believe Boyd and Higgins won’t be able to see more work next year, when Higgins will still just be 22-years-old.
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