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Thread: Ja'Marr Chase-Penei Sewell pre-draft debate back in focus ahead of Bengals-Lions matc

  1. #1

    Ja'Marr Chase-Penei Sewell pre-draft debate back in focus ahead of Bengals-Lions matc

    Ben BabyESPN Staff Writer

    CINCINNATI — The pre-draft debate about whether the Cincinnati Bengals should select Ja'Marr Chase or Penei Sewell back in April wasn’t really about either player.

    It was about quarterback Joe Burrow and which player could help him the most: Chase, a wide receiver and former LSU teammate; or Sewell, a seemingly can’t-miss offensive tackle prospect.

    The Bengals drafted Chase with the fifth overall pick, signaling the route they thought best for Burrow and the franchise. With Cincinnati taking on the Detroit Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET on Fox), which drafted Sewell seventh and has him starting at right tackle, that conversation will be rekindled this weekend.

    Through five games, the Bengals don’t have any remorse over their decision. Chase has given the Bengals offense a big boost and has played up to the expectations that preceded his arrival.

    “He’s a rare breed,” Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd said. “That’s why we picked him up with the fifth pick. I can see the talent. There aren’t too many people on his level. He has his own game to him.”

    During the pre-draft process, Chase’s familiarity with Burrow was one of the biggest talking points. That wasn’t all talk.

    Chase has already established himself as Burrow’s big-play threat and has proven to be someone Burrow trusts in almost any situation. Last year, Burrow was 0-for-13 on pass attempts of 30 or more air yards, according to ESPN Stats and Information. This year, Burrow already has four in half as many games. All of them were caught by Chase, all for touchdowns.

    Chase has also made timely plays for the Bengals (3-2). Three of his touchdowns have come in the final minute of the first half with the score tied or the Bengals trailing. Another one sparked a late rally that had the Bengals flirting with a comeback in a Week 2 loss at Chicago.

    It’s easy to understand why Burrow has targeted Chase 35 times, which is tied with Boyd for the most of any Bengals wide receiver.

    “Ja’Marr has been making plays for five straight weeks now,” Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins said. “He’s got the hot hand, so of course (Burrow) is going to go to him.”
    Through five games, the Bengals have no remorse over taking Ja'Marr Chase with the No. 5 pick last draft. Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

    The immediate impact is what the Bengals were looking for when they selected Chase over Sewell, who was billed as the best available offensive lineman in the draft. After Cincinnati selected Chase, the Lions drafted Sewell, who has started all five games -- primarily at left tackle with Taylor Decker injured. Detroit head coach Dan Campbell told reporters that if Decker returns, Sewell will shift to the right side.

    Like most offensive line rookies, Sewell is trying to find his footing. He ranks 58th among 65 qualifying players in pass block win rate when lined up at tackle.

    “He’s had some rookie mistakes, but comes back next snap trying to make his will on his opponent,” Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard said. “He’s a good player and will be a great player for a long time.”

    Both players seem to be good fits for the current state of their respective franchises. Sewell isn’t under immediate pressure as the Lions are at the beginning stages of their rebuild, while a win on Sunday could further seal Cincinnati’s status as a playoff contender.
    Offensive tackle Penei Sewell was taken seventh by the Lions in the 2021 draft. Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Chase’s ascendance has plenty to do with that. Outside of his individual success, Cincinnati’s offense has struggled to find any rhythm. In nearly every metric that measures an offense’s ability to sustain drives, the Bengals are near the bottom of the 32-team league: 30th in three-and-out percentage, tied for 30th in red zone drives, 31st in plays per drive.

    Amid those bleak numbers, Chase is the biggest offensive bright spot. Taylor said the traits Chase displayed at LSU on his way to the Biletnikoff Award have translated to the NFL.

    “It's winning one-on-one (matchups), making plays on balls down the field even when the opportunities aren't always there,” Taylor said. “He just has a great knack for judging the ball down the field, which not everybody does.”

    So far, however, the rookie has proven why the Bengals drafted him. And the Bengals feel they’re close to unlocking the full potential of the offense they envision during the offseason.

    Said Higgins: “It’s going to come, for sure.”


    https://www.espn.com/blog/cincinnati...-lions-matchup

  2. #2
    Only a story in the media at this point IMO.

  3. #3
    Well it's a good story, especially this week, for obvious reasons. I'd rather see Sewell on the left side going up against Trey, because I think that's the best matchup for us.

    As for the actual debate, it's clear that you can't argue with the pick. What is also clear is that the argument for Team Sewell remains, and it is clear beyond a doubt that the marriage of need and talent would have made it a very good pick.

    That little cartoon with Burrow, a blocking Sewell, and a WR catching the ball, versus a Burrow on his back, no Sewell and and an open chase not catching the ball is as funny as it is sad, and to me becomes more so with time. I remain concerned that the best talent on this team, Joe Burrow, is at grave risk because this team didn't do what needed to be done this off-season to protect him after the greatest proof possible had already been provided.

    As most of the sane people agreed at the time, the Bengals had the luxury of choosing from some elite guys. I couldn't be happier with Chase. I could be much happier with the steps took from that point on.

  4. #4
    We are fine at T alley. Sewell isn’t a guard.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    We are fine at T alley. Sewell isn’t a guard.
    Oh, with the Reiff signing I was good at Tackle (for a year). We need interior upgrade in the biggest way. Now Carman may prove to be a solution, but the scotch-tape-and-rubber-band approach that we took this year hasn't inspired confidence that we will ever get it.

    Meanwhile, the Chargers clearly got it and decided the most important thing for Justin Herbert was protecting him. If you watch them play and are struck by how much more time he seems to have in the pocket than Burrow, you wouldn't be alone.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by alleycat View Post
    Oh, with the Reiff signing I was good at Tackle (for a year). We need interior upgrade in the biggest way. Now Carman may prove to be a solution, but the scotch-tape-and-rubber-band approach that we took this year hasn't inspired confidence that we will ever get it.

    Meanwhile, the Chargers clearly got it and decided the most important thing for Justin Herbert was protecting him. If you watch them play and are struck by how much more time he seems to have in the pocket than Burrow, you wouldn't be alone.
    I agree on Slater - he looks great. Hard not to be happy with Chase and I think Sewell will be very good as well.

    On paper the Chargers OL other than Slater aren’t big names but they have played well. I liked Aboushi and I’d hoped the Bengals might have interest. And they’ve got a very good young HC who isn’t afraid to take risks.

    The interior OL on the Bengals isn’t good… That, and CB (even when healthy I don’t like Waynes much and at his salary and with his injuries I’d cut him after the season ends) are the biggest weaknesses on the team.

    If Adeniji comes back healthy I could see him starting next year, along with Carman and Williams and Tre (I think he’s still getting back so that’s not helping matters this year). Hill and Smith, maybe they’ll develop.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by texbengal View Post
    I agree on Slater - he looks great. Hard not to be happy with Chase and I think Sewell will be very good as well.

    On paper the Chargers OL other than Slater aren’t big names but they have played well. I liked Aboushi and I’d hoped the Bengals might have interest. And they’ve got a very good young HC who isn’t afraid to take risks.

    The interior OL on the Bengals isn’t good… That, and CB (even when healthy I don’t like Waynes much and at his salary and with his injuries I’d cut him after the season ends) are the biggest weaknesses on the team.

    If Adeniji comes back healthy I could see him starting next year, along with Carman and Williams and Tre (I think he’s still getting back so that’s not helping matters this year). Hill and Smith, maybe they’ll develop.

    I think they bring Reiff back.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by texbengal View Post
    I agree on Slater - he looks great. Hard not to be happy with Chase and I think Sewell will be very good as well.

    On paper the Chargers OL other than Slater aren’t big names but they have played well. I liked Aboushi and I’d hoped the Bengals might have interest. And they’ve got a very good young HC who isn’t afraid to take risks.

    The interior OL on the Bengals isn’t good… That, and CB (even when healthy I don’t like Waynes much and at his salary and with his injuries I’d cut him after the season ends) are the biggest weaknesses on the team.

    If Adeniji comes back healthy I could see him starting next year, along with Carman and Williams and Tre (I think he’s still getting back so that’s not helping matters this year). Hill and Smith, maybe they’ll develop.
    I don’t have anything against Adeniji but planning on him starting next year would be SOS for the bengals.

    C, both Gs and RT are still question marks going into next year. If they resign Spain and Reiff then their top priority IMO should be upgrading C. Hopefully by year end carman will have proven himself as the starting RG heading into 2022.

  9. #9
    Chase v. Sewell for 2021 is over. KO for the team Chase crew.

  10. #10
    Field Yates


    Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase now has 553 receiving yards through first six games, the second-most by any rookie in the Super Bowl era.


    Incredibly impressive for a man who learned how to catch in late August.

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