Former LSU star receiver Ja’Marr Chase has exploded onto the scene this season.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been widely criticized for taking him as a fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Chase was picked up right after Kyle Pitts, the first two non-QB players removed from the table.
Many believed the Bengals should have picked offensive lineman Penei Sewell. However, they knew this unit would be good enough with OL coach Frank Pollack back in the queen city.
They took Chase without a second thought, and he’s been dynamic ever since.
While Chase struggled with the drops during the preseason, then the quote regarding his statement about the difference between the NFL and the NCAA went viral, many weren’t expecting much from Chase.
He proved them wrong, getting four touchdowns in the first three weeks. He was a game-changer as the team’s best deep threat. Chase has yet to play a game without a 30-yard reception, which makes him one of the best deepball threats in the league.
NFL.com’s Nick Shook analyzed the top ten root threats. Ja’Marr Chase was only behind Tyler Lockett of the Seattle Seahawks. That said, here’s what the Round The NFL columnist said about the lone rookie on the list.
“This preseason tale of Chase’s inability to locate the scratch-free NFL ball was clearly overblown, as he shreds defenses in his first month as a professional. Chase has already caught 11 passes for 220 yards and four scores. Three of those trips to the end zone have gone highlight style, starting with a beauty of a connection between Chase and former LSU teammate Joe Burrow in Week 1. All in all, Chase caught three deep passes for 126 yards. All three have gone for touchdowns, making Chase the first rookie in the Next Gen Stats era (established in 2016) with a deep touchdown reception in three straight games. The defenses quickly learn to respect the No. 1 downstream, ”Shook wrote.
Chase has 17 receptions and 297 yards on the season. He was instrumental in the Bengals’ 3-1 start. With the Packers on deck, they’ll desperately need Chase to show up in a big way to defeat the team led by Aaron Rodgers.