It's been speculated for months but it appears there might be some truth behind the scenes of what Joe Burrow thinks the Cincinnati Bengals should do with their first round pick. Burrow has reportedly been pushing the Bengals to draft former LSU receiver and teammate Ja'Marr Chase, according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.
The Bengals currently hold the No. 5 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and while it's been widely believed they'll take an offensive lineman, Cincinnati was active in free agency, signing offensive lineman Riley Reiff and recently hosted former New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Nick Easton for a visit.
"Word on the street is that Joe Burrow is stumping for Cincy to bring his old Tiger teammate to Ohio," 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."
This isn't the first time we've heard Burrow hype up his former LSU teammate. A couple of times this offseason, Burrow has been asked about the potential of reuniting with Chase and has said he'd definitely welcome playing with his former LSU teammate again.
"I wouldn't mind. Ja'Marr's a really good player, it’s pretty easy to throw to him when he has five yards of separation every snap," Burrow said. "He’s an exciting player and a great guy and a friend as well. He was fun to play with."
Chase is one of the top prospects in the entire NFL draft class, ranking as high as No. 2 on NFL.com Daniel Jeremiah's big board and had been mock drafted as high as No. 3 to the Miami Dolphins. Former NFL coach Jim Mora believes Chase has the chance to be a "day one star."
Of course the Bengals had one of if not the worst offensive lines in football a year ago and could use an upgrade. If Oregon's Penei Sewell is there for the taking at No. 5, it'll be a hard position to pass up as the best offensive lineman in the 2021 class. ESPN's Mel Kiper has the Bengals taking Sewell in his most recent mock draft with Chase still on the board, and Chase falling to the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 6.
"I've been working on a lot of my weaknesses, trying to stay low to the ground, keep my body under control and catching it on the side that I know I have weaknesses on," Chase said in a recent interview with Jeremiah.
A reunion of LSU's dynamic duo from 2019 would be great for LSU fans who have already followed Burrow's NFL career closely. But with other needs and Chase's high draft value, it's far from a sure thing he winds up with his former LSU quarterback.