CINCINNATI — The Bengals selected wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Some believe it was the right decision, while others think they should've taken Penei Sewell.
Greg Cosell of NFL Films is one of the most respected analysts on the planet. He loved what he saw from Chase during the evaluation process.
"I really loved watching him. I actually watched him last summer," Cosell told Dan Hoard on the Bengals Booth Podcast. "I really loved his tape. I loved Chase's game. I loved his competitiveness. I loved the way he defeated press coverage, which he'll have to do in the NFL. He'll play a lot of boundary 'X,' which means you line up on the ball and you get pressed when you're on the ball and the corner is closer to you, so you have to be able to win against press.
"He was very competitive run after catch. I don't sit around after I watch a player and say 'who does he remind me of?' It either hits me or it doesn't hit me and I thought there was some Steve Smith in his game. Just the competitive intensity with which he played, I thought was tremendous. I loved his tape and I think that he'll be a really good player."
Smith was a five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro. He played in the NFL for 16 seasons, finishing with 1,031 receptions, 14,731 yards and 80 touchdowns.
If the Bengals that type of production, then this would be a home run pick. Cosell also believes Cincinnati made the right decision when they took Chase over Sewell.
"To me Chase is truly special and I think that you needed him more, that you could get an offensive lineman later," Cosell said. "I like Sewell a lot. There's nothing not to like about Penei Sewell. I just think when you have a chance to get a player who is a true game breaker and the nature of the NFL as you know, Dan, is offensively what are you trying to do? Create explosive plays. Defensively what are you trying to do? Stop explosive plays. That's the cliff notes version [of today's NFL. I just think there weren't receivers as good as Chase—the drop off was much bigger [at wide receiver]."
The Bengals ended up with Chase and three offensive linemen, including Jackson Carman, who's expected to be a day one starter. Time will tell if they made the right decision, but they got a stamp of approval from one of the best NFL film analysts.
Listen to Hoard's entire conversation with Cosell below.
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