Ja'Marr Chase
Ja’Marr Chase has expressed his interest in reuniting with Joe Burrow on the Cincinnati Bengals. (Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

Ja’Marr Chase is non-surprisingly near the top of draft boards everywhere. As the 2021 NFL draft draws near, the speculation is beginning as to where Chase will end up. Well according to Chase himself, he ‘wouldn’t mind’ teaming up with former teammate Joe Burrow in Cincy.

College Production

The Bengals currently own the fifth overall pick in the draft and have a need at the receiver position. With the recent departure of AJ Green, Burrow could use a true alpha in the offense. Chase is just that and their chemistry would be immediate from day one. In Burrow’s Heisman year before being drafted first overall, he and Chase lit up the college football scene. Chase ended the season with an absurd 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns on 84 catches. This was all done as a true sophomore before opting-out of the 2020 season.

Chase’s opt-out may have caused some doubt as to whether he should be the first receiver off the board come draft time. Especially considering the record-breaking year DeVonta Smith had as well as the emergence of Jaylen Waddle. However, Chase put all of that to rest after lighting it up at the LSU pro day. Running a 4.38 second 40-yard dash time proved his elite speed will translate to the next level. He also showed off his explosiveness after a 41″ vertical and an 11′ broad jump. Each of which put him in the upper-echelon of athleticism among receivers.

Bengals Potential Fit

The fit on the Bengals’ offense would be perfect. Adding Chase to a talented receiving corps consisting of Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins would give Burrow all the talent needed to succeed. The only question is whether Chase should be prioritized over pass-protection.

After Burrow went down with an ACL injury, the Bengals should beef up the offensive line to keep their franchise quarterback healthy. The draft class features talented offensive tackles in Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater. Either of the two would be vital in protecting Joe Burrow. After signing Riley Reiff in free-agency, I believe the Bengals have the luxury of grabbing Chase with their first pick and then addressing the line later on in the draft.