CINCINNATI — The Bengals have plenty of time to decide which player they want to take with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase might've made that decision a bit easier.
The 21-year-old ran a 4.38 40-yard dash on Wednesday morning at his Pro Day. He also posted a 41-inch vertical leap.
The testing showed the Bengals and the rest of the NFL that he is an elite athlete when compared to every other wide receiver prospect that has entered the NFL Draft. His 9.9 athletic score ranked 27 out of 2480 receiver prospects from 1987 to 2021 according to RelativeAthleticScore.com.
Scouts were blown away by Chase, who dominated the SEC at just 19-years-old.
"It is amazing to hear them talk about him. One scout told me 'generational type player,' another [said] 'it just feels good to be in his presence,'" Jane Slater said on NFL Network. "Another said to me the one thing that stands out about him is he opted out of the season. You would expect him to be a diva, but no. He is incredibly humble. He is one of those hard workers that has impressed in interviews."
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Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow played with Chase for two seasons at LSU. They became the most lethal quarterback-wide receiver combination in the country during the 2019 campaign. The Tigers finished 15-0 and won the National Championship.
Chase finished with 84 receptions for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. He opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL Draft.
If he's available when the Bengals are on the clock at No. 5, then they should take him. Burrow is reportedly pushing for a reunion. Chase tested like an elite player and posted huge numbers in college.
The Bengals need a true No. 1 wide receiver. A.J. Green was that man for many years. Chase could replace him in 2021 and beyond.
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