With the re-teaming of Joe Burrow with his favorite wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals fans are going from beat down to giddiness beyond their dreams of avarice.
You just have to watch the game film from Burrow and Chase’s two years together at LSU to imagine the touchdowns. The big plays. The wins. So much star power to make the eyes hurt.
I just hope the pick doesn’t end up hurting Burrow in the end.
You can’t not help but notice that scar in that photo of Burrow with the high production values, the one showing him sitting on something resembling a marble throne modeling the Bengals’ new uniforms.
“If you die without any scars then you never did anything worth fighting for,” Burrow wrote on Instagram in a post of the photo.
Of all the LSU wide receivers in history — from those who played in the Wing-T, the I-formation, the spread — no one ever reached the level of…
Typical bravado, Joe. But that scar straight down the center of his left knee. Awful. Six inches long, at least.
Burrow’s knee was torn apart once and was rebuilt, hopefully in time for him to play at 100% this season. You probably don’t get another one of those again and get to keep playing at a high NFL level. A potential NFL franchise quarterback level.
Don’t get me wrong. Good for Chase. Clearly he made a good personal decision to come out last year. He was the best wide receiver in the draft and he was picked accordingly.
Burrow needs playmakers. The Bengals need just about everything. But for his personal safety, as cool as it will be to see the Burrow-Chase battery charged up again, I would have preferred to see the Bengals use that No. 5 overall pick on Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, who went two spots later to the Detroit Lions. I'm sure Chase would have been snapped up by the Miami Dolphins with the No. 6 pick.
Burrow needs protecting. He was sacked 32 times in the 10 games he played last season. The Bengals were 29th in the NFL in pass block win rate according to ESPN.
Durable Joe, I-love-a-hard-hit-to-get-me-going Joe, proved not to be indestructible. Hit against Washington, he tore his ACL and MCL. Everything from the hit to the scar to the stats has been gruesome. His 3.2 sacks per game last year projects to 54½ sacks in the NFL’s newly extended 17-game season.
“You have to protect your franchise quarterback,” ESPN analyst and former LSU All-American Booger McFarland said before the Bengals’ pick came in. “They have to take an offensive lineman.”
Obviously, they did not. Betting on the passes Burrow can throw to Chase, and Joe’s scrambling ability, the Bengals passed on Sewell.
Ja'Marr Chase being picked to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 5 wasn't exactly a surprise, but a text from the LSU star's former quarterback off…
This was the pick Burrow very much wanted. Chase said Burrow texted him Thursday morning saying, “Get your bags packed.” Burrow tweeted a GIF of a post-touchdown dancing Chase from the 2020 CFP title game right after his man was chosen.
But sometimes what we want isn’t what’s best for us.
Look, it’s a good draft for offensive linemen. And barring any trade(s), the Bengals still have seven picks in their quiver, including the 38th overall pick early in Friday’s second round.
Unfortunately, for Burrow’s sake, you’d need a microscope to find my faith in the Bengals’ front office to draft guys to protect his blind side.
I want very much to see this end well for Burrow. I wish Chase every possible success. He is a superb receiver.
But I just keep seeing that scary scar on Burrow’s knee. And I fear we can’t see another one and hope to see Burrow have the kind of NFL career he can have.