CINCINNATI (AP) – The Cincinnati Bengals took LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase with the fifth pick in the NFL draft Thursday night, hoping he and quarterback Joe Burrow will pick up where they left off after winning a national championship together at LSU in 2019.
Cincinnati opted for Chase over Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, a player that many speculated the Bengals would grab first as they try to beef up their moribund offensive line in front of Burrow.
Chase won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the best receiver in college football in 2019 but opted out of the 2020 season. In 2019, he set SEC records with 1,780 yards receiving and 20 TDs.
Considered one of the best receiver prospects in recent years, the 6-foot, 201-pound Chase has sub-4.4 speed in the 40 that allows him to get separation and plays like a bigger receiver when going after contested catches.
Chase will give Burrow a dangerous weapon immediately. In Cincinnati, he’ll join a receiving corps with Tee Higgins, the team’s 2020 leader with 908 receiving yards and six touchdowns, and Tyler Boyd, who had 841 yards and four touchdowns.
The Bengals will still find plenty of offensive linemen available when they’re on the clock again with the 38th overall pick in the second round Friday.
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