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Winners and losers from Bengals drafting Ja’Marr Chase

The Bengals offense got monumentally better on Thursday.

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The impact of the Cincinnati Bengals adding Ja’Marr Chase to their offense has the potential to be astronomical.

For the next three years, the Bengals can plan an offense with Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Jonah Williams, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and now Chase. That’s enticing as all Hell, and it’s ultimately why the Bengals opted to go this route.

There are so many more positive takeaways than negative when you land an elite player at the top of the draft, and our list of winners and losers reflect that.


Joe Burrow: The Bengals’ franchise quarterback surely wouldn’t have complained if his team selected an offensive lineman in the first round. But this was the pick Burrow wanted, and has wanted for some time. The Bengals not only appeased the face of their franchise, they also improved their team dramatically.

Chase gives Burrow a true deep threat who can also out-muscle practically any cornerback that he’ll go up against. He adds not only contested catch ability, but supreme yards after catch ability as well. He’s a quarterback’s best friend, which is quite the coincidence because these two were already really good friends.

Burrow got his guy, and that should make Bengals fans winners, too.

Zac Taylor and Brian Callahan: No one should be under more pressure inside Paul Brown Stadium than the head coach. Taylor needs to put up results in his third season in Cincinnati, and Chase gives him a chance to fast track the progress he needs his roster to make. The same goes for Callahan, who’s job security likely goes hand in hand with Taylor’s.

Chase taking over for A.J. Green in their offense gives them an opportunity to score against any defense in the league. They have the quarterback, they have their tackles (for this season, at least), and they now have a full array of weapons. Those are the most important components to putting up points.

Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd: This may come as a surprise, but Chase improves the lives of Cincinnati’s other two starting receivers. When Chase, Boyd, and Higgins are all on the field, someone is going to have an advantageous matchup against any secondary they face. Chase will also force defenses to respect what the Bengals want to do vertically, and that in itself creates more space for the entire offense. Boyd is one of the best slot receivers in the game, and Higgins has a bright future as a complementary boundary receiver. This pick allows both players to thrive in their ideal roles.

Jonah Williams and Riley Reiff: In all likelihood, regardless of which offensive linemen the Bengals draft in the coming rounds, Williams and Reiff can be confident that they’ll remain bookend tackles for the upcoming season. Penei Sewell would’ve created a conversation about one of those two moving spots.

This was the Bengals plan, and considering only a handful of offensive linemen ended up going in the first round, they’re set up very nicely in the second round.


Auden Tate: An offense with Auden Tate as a starting receiver was never an offense worth taking seriously. Tate is a fine rotational player with a niche skillset, but the Bengals did the right thing and found a clear upgrade over him. The problem for Tate, obviously, is that he’s entering a contract year and is projected to be a backup. He should still get a fair share of opportunity, but his stock obviously went down on Thursday night.