Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase reunion in Cincinnati is starting to look likely

Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /

I haven’t been shy the last several weeks about suggesting that the Cincinnati Bengals would be doing Joe Burrow a disservice by selecting former LSU football wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

It’s not that I don’t like Chase — it’s actually quite the opposite, I think he’s the best wide receiver in the draft.

It’s just that I think the Bengals should use that pick on an offensive lineman to help protect Burrow for years to come.

Apparently, the Bengals’ front office doesn’t feel the same way (but that’s why they’re making football personnel decisions, while I simply write about those decisions).

Cincinnati director of player personnel Duke Tobin recently spoke on Dan Hoard’s podcast and his comments seem to suggest that the franchise isn’t deadset on taking an offensive lineman with the No. 5 pick.

Tobin likes the offensive lineman depth later in the draft, saying “There will be guys available in the second round, third round that we have starter grades on”.

Not only does Tobin like some of the offensive linemen later in the draft, but he also feels the offensive line can be improved via other, less glamorous avenues.

“We think having healthy guys there and then the addition of Riley Reiff, we think we’re in a better spot than we were and (there will) still be additions to be named later,” said Tobin.

That comment seems to indicate that Cincy could still add some OL depth via free agency.

If the Bengals don’t take an offensive lineman at No. 5, it would certainly make sense for them to select Chase (especially after cutting AJ Green).

Duke Tobin confirms a Joe Burrow rumor we thought was dispelled

Former ESPN anchor Trey Wingo reported last week that Burrow isn’t pushing his draft opinions on the Bengals’ front office.

That might be true, but that doesn’t mean the front office isn’t speaking with Burrow about what thinks the team should do in the draft.

Tobin confirmed on the Dan Hoard podcast that he’s been speaking with Burrow about the draft.

“I talk to a lot of people throughout the process,” explained Tobin. “He’s (Burrow) an engaging guy, so I like to engage with engaging guys. We’ll just leave it at that.”

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Tobin ultimately has to do what he thinks is best for the team. And if he thinks giving Burrow another elite offensive weapon is what’s best, then that’s likely what we’ll see happen come draft time.