With the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected LSU Tigers wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.
The 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner and national championship teammate of then-LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Chase led the nation with 20 touchdown receptions that year, and his 127.1 yards per game ranked second.
During LSU’s championship season, the 6-foot, 201-pound Chase played in 14 games with 84 grabs and an SEC single-season record 1,780 yards. He became the first wide receiver in LSU history to become a unanimous All-American.
In the College Football Playoff title game vs. the Clemson Tigers, Chase erupted for 221 yards and two scores on nine grabs in LSU’s 42-25 triumph.
Chase would opt out of the 2020 season knowing he was very likely to be a top-10 pick after the film he produced in the previous season. Though there will be a long layoff between the championship game and his first game in a Bengals uniform, Chase reportedly looked great in offseason workouts and shined at LSU’s Pro Day.
Coming into the draft, the Bengals were widely expected to take Chase or Oregon Ducks tackle Penei Sewell with the fifth pick. While Sewell is viewed as a franchise left tackle, the Bengals already have a good one in Jonah Williams, while Riley Reiff was signed to take over at right tackle, albeit just for one year unless an extension is reached.
While you could certainly argue offensive tackle is a bigger need in the short and/or long term, Chase is a game-breaking receiver could be exactly what this franchise needs following the departure of long-time great A.J. Green. Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are fine receivers, but neither is the caliber Green was in his prime.
That’s the type of potential Chase has in the Queen City.
Bengals draft picks 2021
- Round 1, Pick No. 5
- Round 2, Pick No. 38
- Round 3, Pick No. 69
- Round 4, Pick No. 111
- Round 5, Pick No. 149
- Round 6, Pick No. 190
- Round 6, Pick No. 202
- Round 7, Pick No. 235
The Bengals’ remaining top draft needs are:
OT, OG, LB, DE, TE.
Day 1 NFL Draft schedule: 8 pm ET, Thursday, April 29th