We made it, folks. Today is Christmas for football fans — the casuals and the fanatics. The only difference? We aren’t able to wake up to our surprise. We have to wait until somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00pm EST to see what we get. One thing does seem like a foregone conclusion, though: it’s Penei Sewell or Ja’Marr Chase. At least that’s what we think, right?
The draft never plays out as expected. Trades happen and teams panic. Even last minute medical scares could sway teams away from a guy they’ve coveted for a while, especially this year.
As of now, it is expected that the first three picks of the draft are quarterbacks. This would leave one highly sought after QB available, opening the door for a few possibilities. With Atlanta sitting just one pick before Cincinnati at 4th overall, a trade could be looming. But, they’ve also been heavily linked to Florida’s Kyle Pitts, who some call the best player in the draft. Hell, they could even take their QB of the future. At the end of the day, this all seems to point to both Chase and Sewell being available when the Bengals are on the clock.
My gut tells me everything points to the team targeting Ja’Marr Chase with the 5th pick. From his connection to Joe Burrow, to the vast need and lack of urgency in adding to the wide receiver room throughout free agency. It all points to the Bengals having a plan to reunite the greatest QB-WR tandem in modern college football history in Chase and Burrow.
The way the Bengals choose to attack the rest of the draft is very reliant on the direction they choose to go in the first round tonight. If Chase is the pick, expect the team to double dip and select at least two offensive linemen. If Sewell is the pick, pray for a worthy pass catcher to fall to the team in the later rounds. And if the team surprises us and drafts Kyle Pitts, just celebrate and be happy.
The first round will of course be the most exciting one, but it seems as if the rest of the draft will be the deciding factor in whether the 2021 draft was a success or not. Buckle up.