Should the Ja’Marr Chase expectations be tempered?

Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp
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The Bengals made receiver Ja'Marr Chase the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft, passing on potential cornerstone tackle Penei Sewell. Coupled with his LSU reunion with quarterback Joe Burrow, the expectations for Chase are high.

Maybe too high.

Paul Dehner, Jr. of shares his observations of Chase, based on the early phase of training-camp practice.

“He has endured a string of drops, on short and long passes, with another coming Sunday,” Dehner writes. “He has not shown as much separation as you’d hope, and the contested balls haven’t gone his way much, either. This is absolutely not to say he won’t start picking that up with more reps over the next month.”

Dehner makes clear that he’s not sounding the alarm. He’s simply sharing his observations. And everything can change as Chase gets more comfortable. He could end up being everything that the franchise expected him to be.

The point is that he’s dealing with growing pains that most rookies endure. To the extent that anyone thought Chase would walk through the door with a talent level that made him immune to that, it’s apparently not the case.

Chase gets his first chance to show what he can do against an opponent on Saturday night, when the Bengals head to Tampa Bay for the preseason opener.

13 responses to “Should the Ja’Marr Chase expectations be tempered?

  1. Chase/Burrow duo has the chance to be explosive, but Sewell was who they really needed.

  2. Painful realization that he can’t rely on his athleticism to separate from DBs as everyone in the NFL had world class athleticism and reactions

  3. He is a rookie who hasn’t played in a year and a half who is 2 weeks in to NFL practice trying to catch balls from a QB coming back from major knee reconstruction. You can’t judge anything yet.
    Plus, by all accounts, the new group of DBs are playing lights-out. None of the WRs are having a great camp.

  4. It’s the Bengals. It’s not going to matter anyway. They’ve had much better receivers than this guy will be, and it didn’t matter. It won’t now either.

  5. Even with his fast timed 40, he never got a lot of separation in college. But he would get a little and win contested catches. And he’s got the same QB throwing to him. Temper expectations? Sure. But he’s still gonna be good.

  6. He hasn’t taken a snap in a live game in 1-1/2 years. Also, WRs (and CBs as well) seem to take a a little longer to get going. It just takes longer to get the schemes down so you can play off instinct.

    Tee Higgins had a slow start last year, had some of the same issues in training camp, and still finished as one of the top rookie WRs. I’d rather wait until we’re 5-6 games deep to see if there’s any reason to be concerned.

  7. The expectations for every rookie should be tempered, very few live up to the the high barr set by the media and fans when in reality it’s one hell of a jump from college to the NFL, they call it the next level, well in football it’s more like 5 levels over what college ball is!

    College offensive players usually have a 40-50 play playbook max, in the NFL they’re lucky if it’s under 200 plays.

    College is limited to 20hrs of practice including game and travel time, in the NFL there is no limit.

    NFL players are stronger, smarted and faster than anyone these rookie’s have ever faced.

    In college they may face one or two teams a year that’ll have 3 or 4 players that make the pro’s, in the NFL everyone they face has made it, that’s why the game overwhelms so many rookie’s at this level and these are just a few of the things they find out very fast!

    That’s why when these rookie’s are asked “what’s the difference between the NFL and college” most say “it’s so much faster”, but the truly smart one’s answer in one word “EVERYTHING”!

  8. I have a feeling the Buc’s 4th round pick, Jaelon Darden, will be more impressive than Chase in this game.

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