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Former NFL Head Coach Weighs in on the Bengals' Debate Between Ja'Marr Chase and Penei Sewell

The debate continues....
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CINCINNATI — The Bengals got an up close and personal look at LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase and Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell this week. 

Chase showed Cincinnati and the rest of the league that he was an elite athlete. He checked all the boxes that a top NFL wide receiver needs to check. 

He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, posted a 41-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot (132 inch) broad jump.

Chase measured in at just over six-feet tall and 201 pounds. He answered any questions about his speed and height, while also showing his brute strength that he relies on in contested catch situations.

Like Chase, Sewell impressed NFL personnel at his pro day. He did 30 reps of 225 on the bench press. His vertical jump (28 inches) and broad jump (9-foot-1) were impressive, especially from someone that weighs 331 pounds. 

There are questions about his 33 1/4-inch arms, but it's a slight negative for a prospect that has nearly a flawless profile. 

Who should the Bengals take if Chase and Sewell are both available in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft? Former NFL head coach Jim Mora Jr. sat down with AllBengals to discuss who he'd take with the fifth pick. 

"What a great position to be in, but what a difficult position to be in," Mora said. "The depth of offensive line in the draft. That would lead me to where it led you and that's Ja'Marr Chase. When that guy gets the ball in his hands he's dynamic.

"I think that's the right way to go. Give Joe Burrow weapons. Give him weapons. There's gonna be some guys there [at 38] or package some things and come up [in the draft]. There's gonna be some guys there that are going to be pretty good offensive lineman, offensive tackles. Adequate guys that are going to develop into great players, so you gotta go get Chase."

Mora loves both prospects, but believes that Chase would have more of an impact early in his career. The potential of a Burrow-Chase reunion is too much to pass on according to the former Atlanta Falcons head coach.

"The NFL is a different game today. It's not a straight drop back game anymore. It's movement in the pocket, it's quick throws, it's RPO's, it's getting the ball out of a quarterbacks hands quickly," Mora said. "It's getting the ball to your playmakers in space where they can make those great plays. We all love a great offensive tackle, especially a left tackle like Sewell that can be with your organization. You're talking about an Anthony Muñoz type of guy for Cincinnati fans that can be there forever. That's going to put a gold jacket on in Canton someday, potentially. But Chase changes the dynamic of games and he does it right away. There's no learning curve for Ja'Marr Chase. He's going to walk into the locker room [and] he's going to be the No. 1 wide receiver. No doubt. Sewell, there's a learning curve. There's some pretty nifty defensive ends out there. They're going to come after him and they're gonna work him for a while. And they'll be some frustration on game day when he gets beat for a sack. 'Why did we take that guy? Why didn't we get Chase?' Sewell though is a generational talent, we can't deny that. So is Chase ... Let's go get Ja'Marr Chase."

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The Bengals are in a good position. Landing Chase or Sewell is going to make their offensive better. They may not get a chance to draft both guys. 

With three quarterbacks expected to go off the board with the first three picks, the Falcons have an opportunity to take the best non quarterback on the board.

Atlanta was at Sewell's pro day, just like Cincinnati and 29 other teams. They could also take Chase if they want to find Julio Jones' successor. 

If both are there when the Bengals are on the clock, then it's a great problem to have. They'll likely get their shot at one of them. 

The debate between Sewell and Chase—at least in Cincinnati, is going to continue until the draft on April 29. 

Watch the entire interview with Mora at the top of this page.

For the latest free agency news and NFL Draft coverage, bookmark AllBengals and check out some of our other articles below.


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