CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Mocks drafts are heating up with less than a week to go till the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Cincinnati Bengals sit in a great spot with the fifth overall pick. They could look to add protection for quarterback Joe Burrow or add a playmaker.
Wide receiver Ja’marr Chase, Burrow’s teammate at LSU, could be that playmaker the Bengals go with.
Four teams sit ahead of the Bengals. Three of those four teams are essentially locked to take a quarterback.
Here is the order of the top five picks:
No. 1) Jacksonville Jaguars
No. 2) New York Jets
No. 3) San Francisco 49ers (via trade with Miami)
No. 4) Atlanta Falcons
No. 5) Cincinnati Bengals
Chase opted out of LSU’s 2020 season, but the year prior, he put up remarkable numbers on his way to winning the Biletnikoff Award.
Burrow and Chase connected 84 times for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns during LSU’s 2019 National Championship run.
The two of them had a great connection that could make Chase’s transition to the NFL simple.
Burrow seems to be on board, if not driving the train, for the Bengals to draft Chase.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Burrow is calling for a Geaux reunion in the Queen City.
“Word on the street is that Joe Burrow is stumping for Cincy to bring his old Tiger teammate to Ohio,” SI’s Breer wrote. “And the Riley Reiff signing gives the Bengals the flexibility to add a playmaker who’s an ideal stylistic fit for their quarterback.”
Chase is a 6′0 3/8″, 201-pound wide receiver who ran a 4.38 40-yard dash with a 41″ vertical at LSU’s Pro Day. (Pro Day measurables are considered unofficial.)
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport quoted a top evaluator as saying, Chase is the “best wide receiver prospect since Julio [Jones].”
Chase drew comparisons to former St. Louis Rams legend Torry Holt on the NFL website.
NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein wrote an overview of Chase, which speaks to his ability to take the top off a defense.
“We could sit here and talk about the marginal route-running issues or challenges getting off press. However, Chase is supremely talented as a ball winner and playmaker. After all, routes and release can be coached.
“He had some issues when Trevon Diggs and Cameron Dantzler gave hard jams to his release in 2019, so that will need to be addressed. His burst is effortless, which tends to catch coverage off guard when he really hits the vertical gas.
“His competitive nature and play strength simply act as multipliers for his outstanding ball skills. He hasn’t played football since very early in 2020 and still has work to do, but he should be an early starter and a future Pro Bowler.”
Bengals fans will find out if Chase is the newest member of Who Dey nation on April 29.
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