The Bengals decision to draft Ja’Marr Chase over Sewell pays off in Super Bowl run
Burrow has helped the Bengals get back on track to the Super Bowl, after what was a decade for Cincinnati, and Ja'Marr Chase made it feasible for Burrow
Remember last year’s watershed moment when the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Ja’Marr Chase over offensive tackle Penei Sewell?
It surely seemed like a bold move from Cincinnati to pick a receiver over a blocker, especially with their offensive line at the time. But now that the Bengals are heading to the Super Bowl for the first time in 33 years, it seems that that decision wasn’t only the right one in terms of the superstar receivers’ obvious talent, but also his consistently successful duo with the other superstar, “Joe Franchise”.
Quarterback Joe Burrow and Chase played together at LSU and won the national championship in 2019. And while Burrow’s talent and persistence was obvious in his start with the Bengals, he was in dire need of being protected from endless sacks that even put an early end to his debut season. (A torn ACL and 32 sacks in 10 games was really something.) Bringing Chase to the field was exactly what Burrow needed to really find out his own talents.
Chase was taken fifth overall by the Bengals, and has racked up 81 catches for an insane 1,455 yards, the most yards ever by a rookie in the Super Bowl era. The LSU graduate caught eight 40-yard bombs, which was just one off the league charts, and averaged 18.0 yards per catch overall, which was only topped by Deebo Samuel.
Additionally, Chase also caught 13 touchdown passes, the most by any rookie since Randy Moss.
When asked whether Chase would have had the same success elsewhere, Bengals’ coach Zac Taylor said he believes Chase would thrive anywhere.
“I think Ja’Marr, no matter what team drafted (him), he would have had a ton of success,” he said. “But I think him being able to hit the ground running and the chemistry standpoint and relationship with Joe has probably allowed him to maximize his opportunities in Year 1.”
Penei Sewell with the Detroit Lions
And if you’re wondering whether the Detroit Lions made the right decision with drafting Sewell, the answer is that their offensive tackle has proven to be an immense gain to the franchise.
Sewell transformed the Lions’ offensive line to be one of the best in the league after having a monster rookie season.
No one can argue both the Bengals and Lions gained a special addition to their teams with this wisely calculated exchange of two very talented NFL players.