Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall choice in 2020, said last week he was not lobbying the Bengals to draft former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase. Who knows what was said privately.
Burrow, though, will reunite with one of his favorite receivers from 2019 and undoubtedly is thrilled.
The Bengals selected Chase with the fifth overall selection.
Chase caught 84 passes for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns in his final college season in 2019. He opted out of the 2020 season.
He joins a receivers room that includes Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Auden Tate, giving Burrow yet another weapon.
What Chase doesn’t do is improve the offensive line. The Bengals still have a big need up front even after signing Riley Reiff and bringing back Quinton Spain.
Burrow took 32 sacks in 10 games and saw his season end with a a season-ending ACL and MCL tear in his left knee.
So the Bengals likely prioritize improving the offensive line the rest of the draft.
The Bengals last drafted a receiver in the top 10 in 2017 when they selected John Ross with the ninth overall choice. Ross left for the Giants as a free agent this offseason after appearing in only 27 games with Cincinnati.
They will hope the selection of Chase turns out more like A.J. Green, the fourth overall pick in 2011. Green played 10 seasons in Cincinnati before leaving for Arizona this offseason.