CINCINNATI, Ohio (WCMH) — The Cincinnati Bengals selected LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase with the No. 5 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday.
Chase will reunite with Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow was taken No. 1 overall last year after leading the Tigers to the 2020 National Championship.
Chase was Burrow’s go-to receiver in 2019 when the wideout led all players in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns and won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the country’s best receiver.
Chase opted out of the 2020 season. During his sophomore season, Chase had 84 catches for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. Those stats were an astronomical jump from his freshman year when he had 23 catches for 313 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bengals have now chosen a receiver in the first round three times since 2011. Cincinnati selected John Ross with the ninth pick in 2017 and A.J. Green with the fourth pick in 2011. Green signed a one-year deal with Arizona during the offseason while Cincinnati did not pick up Ross’ fifth-year option, proving to be a terrible pick five years ago.
The Bengals also announced they would not pick up the fifth-year option for former Ohio State Billy Price who was picked 21st overall in 2018.
Cincinnati still needs to draft an offensive tackle to protect Burrow who suffered a season-ending torn ACL against Washington in Week 11 last year.
Burrow underwent successful surgery and is expected to be ready for the start of the 2021-22 season.