Stat suggests Bengals did Joe Burrow a disservice by drafting Ja’Marr Chase

Former LSU football QB Joe Burrow (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
Former LSU football QB Joe Burrow (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /

I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not the Cincinnati Bengals helped or hurt Joe Burrow by selecting his former LSU Football teammate Ja’Marr Chase in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Chase, the No. 5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, was the best wide receiver available in the draft.

Adding Chase to the roster gives Burrow another elite offensive weapon. The familiarity between Burrow and Chase should mean these two players hit it off immediately in Cincinnati. They have the potential to put up big numbers together for the Bengals.

But selecting Chase with the No. 5 overall pick meant the Bengals didn’t take an offensive lineman.

And the offensive line was the weakest link for Cincinnati in 2020.

Did Joe Burrow really need another wide receiver?

The debate over whether or not the Bengals should’ve selected Chase or an offensive lineman will rage for a bit before we know the answer.

For now, all we can do is speculate.

Deadspin pointed out a stat this week that suggests taking Chase was a futile move that won’t help the Bengals reach their ultimate goal of the playoffs.

According to Deadspin, of the 14 teams to reach the NFL playoffs in 2020, six of those teams had only two wide receivers that totaled more than 800 receiving yards. Four of those teams had only one wide receiver with more than 800 receiving yards. And three teams didn’t have a wide receiver that had more than 800 receiving yards.

In other words, having a litany of talented wide receivers isn’t how teams reach the playoffs. They get there because of good offensive line play and winning on defense.

Cincinnati, by the way, had two wide receivers last season with more than 800 receiving yards — Tyler Boyd (841 yards) and Tee Higgins (908 yards).

The stats suggest that the addition of Chase won’t aid the Bengals in their pursuit of a playoff spot.

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So did the Bengals make the right decision by drafting Chase?

Unfortunately, it will be a couple of years before we have an accurate answer to that question.

But based on this stat from Deadspin, it doesn’t seem like the addition of Chase is what’s going to get the Bengals to the playoffs.