The Bengals made a mistake taking Ja'Marr Chase over Penei Sewell


A lot of NFL mock drafts had the Cincinnati Bengals taking Oregon’s Penei Sewell with the fifth overall pick in the draft.

But for those that didn't, Ja'Marr Chase was slated as their pick.

In last week's NFL Draft, the Bengals elected to go with QB Joe Burrow’s ex-teammate Ja'Marr Chase from LSU with their fifth pick.

Sewell fell down to the 7th spot in the draft to the Detroit Lions.

A lot of Duck fans were wondering why the Bengals did not take Sewell with the fifth pick. It seemed like the perfect spot for him.

For starters, they needed someone to protect their new franchise QB who is coming off a horrific injury his rookie season. You'd think they'd want to protect their investment, right? 

Now we finally have some clarity as to why they went with Chase instead of Sewell.

Albert Breer of The MMQB has more details about why Cincinnati chose to reunite Joe Burrow with his college teammate.

So what made Chase the pick? With a feeling Pitts would be gone by then (and he was, to the Falcons at No. 4), the internal debate between Sewell and Chase was extensive, as you might expect, and the Bengals were trying to look at the draft as a mosaic (with OL coach Frank Pollack active on the road, going to the pro days of a ton of expected Day 2 linemen to see whether the team could address that need later on).

Albert Breer

Breer continued:

"In the end, the Bengals saw Chase as capable of being a true X receiver, who was consistently productive in the biggest games and against the best competition LSU played in 2019. His hands, awareness and ability to win in 50-50 situations (understanding the nuances of route running, when to show his hands, etc.) were all A-plus."

It's clear that Burrow had influence in the decision to take his former teammate.


Burrow reportedly told the Bengals front office of his workouts with Chase. “If I was doing something extra, Ja’Marr was always with me doing something extra.”

According to Breer, Burrow was asked by the Bengals: On a scale of one to 10, if we drafted Chase, how excited would you be? “Ten,” Burrow answered.”

Come on! What is this?! Is this what Draft decisions are coming to?

Of course Burrow is going to advocate for his former teammate, who is also an incredible receiver. 

There's nothing sexy about taking an offensive lineman. 

But, it's up to the Bengals to protect their investment. 

To put it simply: 

If Burrow can't stay upright, how is he ever going to get it to Chase?

Bengals fans agreed.

In the end, it seems Burrow was a strong voice when it comes to their fifth pick and the Bengals are at peace with their pick. They spent the rest of the Draft trying to bolster their line. They took three linemen: Second-rounder Jackson Carman, fourth-rounder D’Ante Smith and sixth-rounder Trey Hill. 

The Dolphins could have gotten Sewell at No. 6 to protect Tua Tagovailoa, but they went with a former teammate, too, selecting Jaylen Waddle. 

While the Bengals and Dolphins are happy with Chase and Waddle, the Lions might be more ecstatic that they got Sewell in Detroit.

Of course, we're still years away from finding out who made the right selections.

But, one could argue the Bengals made the wrong decision today.