CINCINNATI — The NFL Draft is one month away, which gives fans plenty of time to debate about who the Bengals should take with the fifth overall pick. Some believe LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase should be the selection, while others think Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell is the obvious pick.
NFL insider and former scout Daniel Jeremiah released his latest prospect rankings on Monday afternoon. There was a clear difference between the two candidates.
Chase was ranked third, while Sewell was 12th.
"Chase is a dominant player on tape. He lined up both outside and in the slot at LSU. He defeats press coverage with a combination of foot quickness and upper-body strength," Jeremiah wrote. "He creates separation off the line of scrimmage and he can also find another gear when the ball is in the air. He is a clean route runner. He won't gear down in traffic and has very strong hands to pluck and play through contact. He attacks 50/50 balls and consistently wins. Chase is at his best after the catch. He routinely breaks tackles and can make defenders miss, too. He did have a couple drops when the ball was on his back hip but I have no concerns about his hands. Overall, I love Chase's attacking style of play and see him as a faster version of three-time Pro Bowl selectee Anquan Boldin."
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Jeremiah likes Sewell's upside, but is concerned with some of his technique issues.
"Sewell has a huge frame, quick feet and strong hands. He has the foot quickness to kick out and cover up speed rushers in the passing game," Jeremiah wrote. "His hands can get too wide at times, which allows defenders to get underneath him (see: matchup against then-Auburn DT Derrick Brown in 2019). However, he stays connected and usually wins when he locks on. He has the ability to bend and drop his weight, but he gets too upright on occasion. Sewell does some special things in the run game. He can uproot defenders over his nose and he is explosive as a puller. The more I watched, I did have some concerns about his balance. He lunges at times and ends up on the ground more often than you'd like. Overall, Sewell isn't the most polished blocker in this class, but he does offer the most upside."
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts is second in the rankings. Alabama wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith are fifth and sixth, respectively. Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater is ninth.
Jeremiah might be lower on Sewell than some, but there are questions about him.
The Bengals should be able to draft one of Chase or Sewell with the fifth pick. There's a chance that both guys are available with up to four quarterbacks expected to be taken with the first four picks.
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