NFL analytics expert makes strong prediction for Ja’Marr Chase

Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

Former LSU football wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase could be in for a huge rookie season, according to NFL Network’s analytics expert Cynthia Frelund.

Frelund recently predicted — via “contextualized data and “computer-vision models” — which rookie wide receivers will be the most successful in 2021.

Using those methods, Frelund compiled a top seven list of rookie wide receivers.

Unsurprisingly, Chase — who was selected with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals — was number one on Frelund’s list.

Ja’Marr Chase could make a big impact with Joe Burrow in Cincinnati

Chase’s elite talent is obviously the biggest reason that Frelund is expecting a huge rookie campaign from the former Tigers standout.

But that’s far from the only reason.

A deep dive into the stats by Frelund revealed that Chase is actually a perfect fit in the Bengals’ existing offense.

“Next Gen Stats shows that the Bengals used 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) on the greatest percentage of snaps in the NFL last season (75.4),” noted Frelund.

That means that Chase should automatically see playing time, despite likely starting the season behind Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins on the depth chart.

Another reason that Frelund is big on Chase in 2021 is the presence of Joe Burrow — Chase’s former teammate in Baton Rouge.

Frelund pointed out that Chase’s 860 yards on deep passes in 2019 (when Burrow was his quarterback at LSU) led the country.

In 2020, Cincinnati receivers averaged only 6.9 yards per target, which was the second-lowest mark in the NFL. The addition of Chase should immediately help the Bengals in the deep game.

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Chase has the talent to be a perennial Pro-Bowler in the NFL. Will he showcase his full abilities in 2021?

Only time will tell. But Frelund clearly thinks Chase is well on his way to a dominant rookie season.