The Bengals WR duo has a freakish ceiling
By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)
When thinking about the best WR duo in the NFL, a few combinations come to mind such as AJ Brown and Julio Jones of the Tennessee Titans, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Bucs, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett of the Seattle Seahawks, and a few others as well. One team that doesn’t come up right away, at least not yet, is the Cincinnati Bengals. That could change in the very near future because the Bengals have an extremely talented, and very young, pair of WRs in second year player Tee Higgins and rookie Ja’Marr Chase. When paired with the fact that they have a young and promising quarterback in Joe Burrow throwing them the ball, the future is extremely bright for the Bengals offense. They could soon have the very best WR duo in the NFL if things go according to plan for them.
After being selected in the second round out of Clemson in the 2020 NFL Draft, the 6’4 and 215 pound Tee Higgins put together a very impressive rookie campaign. He played in all 16 games while registering 67 receptions on 108 targets for 908 yards and 6 touchdowns. He leads the entire Bengals team in total yards, touchdowns, yards per reception with 13.6, and receiving yards per game with 56.8. He was also second on the team in both receptions and targets, trailing only Tyler Boyd. He was clearly a huge part of their offense and one of the best players on the team. The break out rookie should continue to improve through the offseason, while also continuing to develop chemistry with Joe Burrow, and has the potential to be a top tier WR in the NFL this coming season and beyond, all things considered. It will be very intriguing to see what how good of a player he can really turn into if he does in fact take that next step.
At 6’1 and 201 pounds with lightning speed and excellent leaping ability, the rookie WR out of LSU has all of the tools to be an elite playmaker at the NFL level. That is one of the main reasons why the Bengals selected Chase with their 5th overall pick in the NFL Draft this year. The other main reason is the connection between him and quarterback Joe Burrow, who the Bengals selected first overall in the previous draft. Specifically, in 2019 when they played together at LSU, Chase and Burrow put together one of the best WR and QB seasons of all time, respectively. In 14 starts that year, Chase recorded 84 receptions for 1780 yards and 20 touchdowns on his way to winning the Biletnikoff Award. He capped off that amazing season with a national championship by contributing 9 receptions for 221 yards and two touchdowns.
Chase opted to sit out of the 2020 season but clearly did enough in 2019 to earn himself a high selection in the draft. The added bonus of being able to play with the same quarterback that he did in college is what puts this connection over the top. Chemistry is something that takes a long time to develop, so it’s a huge luxury that the Bengals already have that in this QB and WR duo. The potential is sky high when it comes to Chase and his projections in the NFL, and Burrow further amplifies that. If Chase can live up to the hype and make an immediate impact as he’s expected to, then pairing him with an already productive Higgins makes them an extremely exciting WR duo to keep an eye on. If they can grow together over the next year or so, they will be one of the best in the NFL for many years to come. They are a real threat to take over the top spot, especially if Burrow blossoms to his true potential also.