If Ja’Marr Chase is available at 5; the Bengals should take him and feel lucky about it…
Sleep is a rare commodity in Cincinnati these days. Fans and player personnel directors pace their living rooms at night; all thoughts geared to April 29th, 2021. The biggest decision in modern Cincinnati sports history looms, and everyone must take a stand.
If the Falcons (or another team) take Kyle Pitts or a quarterback, Mike Brown should feel lucky that the greatest QB-WR combo in college football history gets to reunite in northern stripes.
Not only is Ja’Marr a hyper-athletic playmaker, but he is also the best fit for the 2021 Bengals. He fits right into the AJ Green role – and AJ caught less than 50% of balls thrown his way. A number Ja’Marr would certainly surpass, especially given his immediate connection to the team’s quarterback.
Joe Burrow has an uncanny connection with Chase, both approach the game and preparation in a similar way. ‘Grind in the dark, don’t show them the work, show them the results’ types. Their combined feel for how to attack a defense would frighten most defensive coordinators.
Burrow struggled to throw the ball down the field (37th of 39 qualified passers), not because of a weak or an inaccurate arm. But because the Bengals lacked a ball-winner downfield. Chase not only takes the top off of defenses but makes every deep ball look accurate. If you rewatch the 2019 season (which I’ve done 10000 times), the deep ball feel between Burrow and Chase is one of a kind.
Uniting two pass-catchers of this level is a unique opportunity for the Bengals. This has never happened in NFL history, and the ceiling for Chase-Burrow is unthinkably high. It puts yards on the field, points on the board, and puts a big smile on JoeyB’s face. I am #TeamChase, and firmly so, here are my counter-arguments to the valid concerns of #TeamSewell.
‘Don’t be Stupid, Draft O-Line’
This is the best argument against taking Chase, Burrow did end the season on a cart. But remember, in the game Burrow got hurt the offensive line was having a near flawless performance against a top-5 playoff defense. We all forgot that the game Burrow got hurt was one of the few games he wasn’t sacked.
If Burrow had played all 16, would the need at offensive line be as urgent? I don’t think so. This means picking O-Line (if you grade Chase as a better player) is a fear-based selection. It’s like getting premium car insurance after you totaled the car. The damage is done, the injury happened.
Do we really want to make decisions based on fear? Has fear ever won a Super Bowl? Does fear beat Pittsburgh regularly? No.
Plus, an elite offensive line doesn’t protect QB’s from injury. Carson Palmer had a top-5 offensive line in 2005 and his season ended on a cart too.
Make the right pick, not the scared pick.
‘Top 5 WR’s rarely work…’
It’s hilarious Bengals fans make this argument when a WR picked #4 overall kicked off the most wins in a 5-year period in Bengals history. However, AJ Green is the only example of a top 5 WR actually working out in the last 10 years. Bengals fans can more recently point to 2017, when Corey Davis went 5th overall.
But Davis didn’t go to an elite QB, he went to Marcus Mariota. Add in the fact Chase is a better prospect in every facet than Davis and it seals the case.
That’s what makes this pick different. You aren’t asking an elite WR to come in and carry an offense as a rookie, you’re asking him to play the same role in the same offense with the same QB. The only thing that would change for Chase is the color of the tiger.
‘We have Tee Higgins/Tyler Boyd!’
Wouldn’t it be nice to be the BEST at something? If the Bengals draft Penei Sewell they will not have the best offensive line in the league, they’ll be lucky to be a top 15 unit. If they draft Chase, by the end of 2021 the Bengals receiver room might just be the most explosive in the NFL
Don’t be paralyzed by fear, instead be tantalized by opportunity.
Draft Ja’Marr Chase, and get ready to watch the best football in Cincinnati since 1989.