CINCINNATI — The Bengals wanted to add a dynamic playmaker to their offense this offseason and that's exactly what they did on Thursday night.
Cincinnati selected LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The 21-year-old has a special connection with Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. The duo led LSU to a 15-0 record and a national championship in 2019.
Chase finished with 84 receptions for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. The record-setting campaign was one of the many reasons why the Bengals decided to take him with the fifth pick.
"He’s the premier receiver in the draft, and he does a lot of things really well," Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said on Monday. "You certainly watch the tape of 2019 and it’s fun to watch Joe (Burrow) play again, because that’s the most recent days you’re watching. Tremendous player and it’s obvious why he put himself in the conversation to be a high pick."
Chase ran a 4.34 [second] 40-yard dash at LSU's pro day and "wowed" scouts with a 3.99 [second] 3-cone drill. His strength, size and overall athleticism certainly separates him from the rest of the receiver class.
Burrow has to be ecstatic to reunite with Chase in the pros.
"I'm great friends with Ja'Marr. We've been talking for a year since we stopped playing together. We talked last week so I'm great friends with Ja'Marr [and] know the kind of player he is," Burrow said earlier this month. "He's a lot like me. He was in there every Saturday with me throwing, getting up early. He's that kind of guy. He's a great person, great dude, great player. He's gonna have a long, very good, successful career."
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Chase joins a wide receiver core that includes Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. They have a chance to be one of the best units in the league.
The Bengals are hoping Burrow and Chase can duplicate their college success in the pros.
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