CINCINNATI — The Bengals' decision to take wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase over Penei Sewell is going to be questioned for the foreseeable future.
If star quarterback Joe Burrow and Chase duplicate the success they had at LSU, then it won't matter what the critics said about the pick.
The decision to take the 21-year-old playmaker will also be tied to what they did in the second round when they added Clemson offensive lineman Jackson Carman.
If Carman becomes a serviceable starter and Chase is a star, then the Bengals got it right. If Carman doesn't work out, then plenty will question the decision, including legendary sportswriter Peter King.
"They better be right on Ja’Marr Chase," King wrote on Monday morning. "I like the decision—if second-round offensive lineman Jackson Carman can develop into a long-term starter at guard or tackle that the Bengals desperately need. But if Joe Burrow gets hurt again, well, the Bengals will be second-guessing themselves."
The Bengals are hopeful that the additions of Riley Reiff, Carman and offensive line coach Frank Pollack make a world of difference in their quest to keep Burrow upright.
If the line can be serviceable, then there's no reason why this offense can't be dominant this season. The Bengals added three offensive linemen in the draft. They knew it had to be a priority.
They also viewed Chase as a can't-miss player, which is why they took him with the fifth pick.
"It came down to him being the best player that we thought was available at that time," Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said on draft night. "We really were excited that he was available. It gives us a chance to add some explosiveness to our team and to our offense. I’m excited to see him hopefully score a bunch of touchdowns for us."
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