By: Chris Moore (Twitter: @fantasy_moore)
Ja’Marr Chase elected to opt-out of the 2020 NCAA football season, but I’m sure many of you remember him from his 2019 season. As of right now, Chase currently is the second wide receiver on a lot of draft boards.
The last time we saw Chase in action, he was unbelievable in 2019. In 2019, Chase’s stat line consisted of 84 receptions, 1,780 receiving yards, and 20 touchdowns. Chase led the NCAA in receiving yards (1,780) and had the most receiving yards per reception with 21.2 yards per catch. Chase’s 21.2 yards per catch in 2019, would have led the entire NFL this season as well. Chase was a superstar for LSU in 2019, working side-by-side with 2019 first-round pick Justin Jefferson.
It’s hard to look at Ja’Marr Chase’s stats and film and not fall in love. Chase was so dominant in 2019, he was the best wide receiver in the entire NCAA. He was a crucial part of LSU’s championship season, consistently making plays all year long. Now heading to the NFL draft in 2021, Chase will be a star in the league very soon.
Ja’Marr Chase’s 2021 NFL Draft scouting report
Weight: 208 pounds
Position: Wide Receiver
NCAA Career Stats: 107 receptions, 2,098 yards, 23 touchdowns
Chase dominated the entire NCAA in 2019, but his premier trait that stands out on his film is his ability to bring in contested catches. Ja’Marr Chase has shown in college when it comes to bringing in jump balls, he’s the best receiver in the class. Chase has shown he is extremely reliable at bringing in contested balls, and he also has great hands.
Chase isn’t just a great jump ball receiver, he’s also great in space. He’s a great athlete who has 4.4 speed that excels in the open field. He’s great at getting into open space and creating distance between himself and defenders. Chase has the ability to turn a nineteen-yard reception into a sixty-four-yard touchdown. Chase has shown in his short collegiate career that he is an elite possession receiver who can make clutch catches and be a reliable target for whoever is throwing him the football. Chase’s best attribute is his use of his hands when running routes, his hand placement during routes allows him to beat his defenders and gain leverage.
So, where does Ja’Marr Chase land in the NFL draft? While I believe Chase would be great for the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins might favor Tua Tagovailoa’s former teammate and Heisman winner DeVonta Smith. While he might not be the first wide receiver taken in this year’s draft, Chase will be a top-ten pick.
We still don’t know who the Eagles’ new head coach will be yet in 2021, but you have to figure whoever it is built around the offense. The Eagles are desperate for playmakers on the offense, Ja’Marr Chase would fill that role for them. We don’t know who will be under center for the Eagles in 2021, but whether it’s Jalen Hurts or Carson Wentz, they need a receiver who can actually get open and catch passes.
Passing Ranks of Philadelphia Eagles (Pro Football Reference):
Passing Yards: 28th
Passing Touchdowns: 24th
Yards P/A: 32nd
Chase would step in and immediately be the Eagles’ best wide receiver on the offense. Chase would bring the Eagles a dominant number one receiver they are desperately missing. An offense consisting of Ja’Marr Chase, Dallas Goedert, Miles Sanders, and Jalen Reagor would give the Eagles a nice young offensive core to build around.
Below is the regular-season production of the Eagles starting WRs last year:
Travis Fulgham: 38-539-4
Jalen Reagor: 31-396-1
Greg Ward: 53-419-6
The Eagles have a lot of holes on both sides of the ball, but adding a talented playmaker like Chase is a step in the right direction for the future. With the addition of a new coaching staff and Ja’Marr Chase, the Eagles offense should be a lot better in 2021.
My favorite fit for Ja’Marr Chase on this list would have to be the Cincinnati Bengals. Who wouldn’t want to see Ja’Marr Chase reunited with his former college quarterback Joe Burrow? I do believe that the Bengals’ most important need as of right now is building their offensive line, but maybe that’s addressed during free agency. Adding Chase to the Bengals roster would give the Bengals the best offense we have seen from them in some time. There’s no question the Bengals’ offense needs to be better in 2021.
Passing Ranks of Cincinnati Bengals (Pro Football Reference):
Passing Yards: 27th
Passing Touchdowns: 27th
Yards P/A: 28th
An offensive core of Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, and Joe Burrow would be a nightmare for defensive coordinators. The last time we saw Chase and Burrow together, they went 15-0 and won a national championship. Let’s not forget that Chase’s breakout 2019 season happened with Burrow under center. These two have chemistry together, and Burrow knows how to bring out the best in his former teammate.
Below is the regular-season production of the Bengals starting WRs last year:
Tee Higgins: 67-908-6
Tyler Boyd: 79-841-4
A.J. Green: 47-523-2
While wide receiver may not be the Bengals’ biggest need this off-season, they are projected to lose A.J. Green in free agency. Green was once a star for the Bengals, but now at age 32, Green will most likely take his talents somewhere else this off-season. Green was a starter for the Bengals last year, and they are going to need to fill that role with someone else. Why not fill that spot with one of the best wide receiver prospects we have seen in some time.
I do believe the Bengals may also miss out on the Penei Sewell sweepstakes at pick number five. The offensive line is the biggest need for the Bengals at the moment. But with them most likely missing out on Sewell, Chase is the best available player that is projected to be available. Reuniting Chase with Joe Burrow is going to be hard for the Bengals to pass up. Drafting Chase would give the Bengals a trio of stars at wide receiver.
New York Giants
The Giants are also looking for a number one receiver this off-season. The Giants 2020 season started off very rocky, but they got into a groove mid-season and finished the year off strong. One game away from making the playoffs and winning the division last year, the Giants will look to add playmakers around Daniel Jones this off-season. That playmaker could very well be Ja’Marr Chase.
Chase would give the Giants offense exactly what they are looking for. A dominant receiver who can get open at will and make Daniel Jones’s life easier. The Giants already drafted a tackle last year, and the defense doesn’t look to have as many holes as the offense does. The Giants should look to draft a wide receiver in this year’s draft, and if Chase falls, they would be getting exactly what this team needs.
Passing Ranks of New York Giants (Pro Football Reference):
Passing Yards: 29th
Passing Touchdowns: 31st
Yards P/A: 29th
If the Giants want to be in contention for winning the NFC East next season, they are going to need to surround Daniel Jones with more talent. The Giants were ranked as the 29th best offense last season. That ranking needs to be improved in 2021 and landing Ja’Marr Chase certainly helps that. Darius Slayton has shown so far he is a talented receiver, but he’s not a dominant number one receiver that the Giants need. Chase would slot in and be the Giants best receiver from day one.
Below is the regular season production of the Giants starting WRs last year:
Darius Slayton: 50-751-3
Sterling Shepard: 66-656-3
Golden Tate: 35-388-2
Surrounding Daniel Jones with a playmaker like Ja’Marr Chase will bring the Giants offense to another level in 2021. An offense consisting of Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, Ja’Marr Chase, Sterling Shepard, and Daniel Jones in 2021 sounds very promising. The Giants showed their defense was improved last season from 2019, it should be their priority to get Daniel Jones the help he and the offense needs this off-season.