Skip to main content

An Inside Look at the Bengals' Decision to Take Ja'Marr Chase Over Penei Sewell in 2021 NFL Draft

More insight on the Bengals' thought process behind drafting Ja'Marr Chase over Penei Sewell

CINCINNATI — The Bengals selected Ja'Marr Chase with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

There was an internal debate in the building between selecting the star receiver and Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell. Ultimately, they decided to take Chase.

Albert Breer of The MMQB has more details about why Cincinnati chose to reunite Joe Burrow with his college teammate.

"From the start, there were three guys who Cincinnati considered for the fifth pick, each of whom the team’s brass saw as a true difference-maker, and each capable of making a difference specifically for rehabbing franchise QB Joe Burrow: Florida TE Kyle Pitts, Oregon OT Penei Sewell and LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase," Breer wrote. "So what made Chase the pick? With a feeling Pitts would be gone by then (and he was, to the Falcons at No. 4), the internal debate between Sewell and Chase was extensive, as you might expect, and the Bengals were trying to look at the draft as a mosaic (with OL coach Frank Pollack active on the road, going to the pro days of a ton of expected Day 2 linemen to see whether the team could address that need later on). In the end, the Bengals saw Chase as capable of being a true X receiver, who was consistently productive in the biggest games and against the best competition LSU played in 2019. His hands, awareness and ability to win in 50-50 situations (understanding the nuances of route running, when to show his hands, etc.) were all A-plus. And he got a nice recommendation from his ex-Tigers teammate too. Burrow told the Bengals staff that in the offseason leading up to LSU’s national title run, “If I was doing something extra, Ja’Marr was always with me doing something extra,” which helped ease any questions on Chase’s opt-out year. Burrow also fielded a direct question from the Bengals’ staff: On a scale of one to 10, if we drafted Chase, how excited would you be? “Ten,” Burrow answered. So Chase is a Bengal. Having passed on Sewell, the team understands part of the equation in assessing this pick will be how the three linemen the Bengals did draft (second-rounder Jackson Carman, fourth-rounder D’Ante Smith and sixth-rounder Trey Hill) play. But as for the sense I’ve gotten on Chase? I can say the Bengals were at peace with the call to take him throughout the day on Thursday, and Burrow, who got a heads up it was coming, couldn’t have been happier to see it happen."

For more on the Bengals, including the latest news and breakdowns, subscribe to our YouTube Channel!!!

There's no denying that Burrow wanted Chase. The fact that the 24-year-old text his college teammate on the morning of the draft and said "pack your bags" is all that needs to be said. 

The Bengals had Chase higher on their board, which is one of the many reasons why he was the choice. 

For more on Cincinnati's decision to take Chase, how it impacts Burrow and more, go here. For the latest Bengals news and coverage, bookmark AllBengals and check out some of our other articles below.

-----

You May Also Like:

An Inside Look at the Bengals' Pursuit of Second Round OL Jackson Carman

Draft Grades Are In: Here's What the National Media is Saying About the Bengals

A Three Down Look at All Seven Bengals Day 3 Draft Picks

Track EVERY Bengals Undrafted Free Agent Signing Here

Chris Evans Worked on 'The Mixon' At Michigan

Bengals Add Giovani Bernard Replacement at Running Back

Bengals Take Center Trey Hill in Sixth Round

Watch: New Bengals Kicker Evan McPherson Made One of the Best Kicks Ever

Bengals Bolster Offensive Line With D'Ante Smith

LSU Reunion: Bengals Take BIG Tyler Shelvin in Round Four

Bengals Bolster Pass Rush With Cam Sample in Fourth Round

Former Bengals Coach Has HIGH Praise for Jackson Carman

Here are the Top Players the Bengals May Target on Day Three of the NFL Draft

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Bengals Receive Mixed Grades on Day Two of NFL Draft

Willie Anderson Gives Stamp of Approval on Bengals 2nd Rounder Jackson Carman

Analyst Praises Bengals' Second-Round Pick Jackson Carman

Bengals Get Defensive, Take Edge Rusher Joseph Ossai From Texas

Watch: Joseph Ossai is a human highlight reel

Bengals Second Round Selection Jackson Carman Earns Big-Time Praise

Bengals Take Offensive Lineman Jackson Carman is Second Round

Ja'Marr Chase Gives Shoutout to Bengals Super Fan

Passing on Penei: Here's Why Ja'Marr Chase Was the Right Pick

Watch: Ja'Marr Chase Reacts to Emotional Letter From Parents

Here's What National Analysts Are Saying About the Ja'Marr Chase Pick

Ja'Marr Chase Makes BOLD Statement on Draft Night

Watch Zac Taylor's Call With Ja'Marr Chase

Joe Burrow, Other Bengals Players React to Team Taking Ja'Marr Chase at No. 5

Get To Know New Bengals Wide Receiver Ja'Marr Chase

Ja'Marr Chase Has BIG Goals for the 2021 Season

Bengals Take Ja'Marr Chase at No. 5

Watch: Film Breakdown of new Bengals Wide Receiver Ja'Marr Chase

Watch: Footage of Joe Burrow Throwing and Planting on Left Leg

-----

Be sure to keep it locked on AllBengals all the time!

Subscribe to the AllBengals YouTube channel
Follow AllBengals on Twitter: @AllBengals

Like and follow AllBengals on Facebook