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Ja’Marr Chase will lead rookie WRs in production, says analytical deep dive

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase projects to be the most productive rookie at his position in 2021.

That’s not too shocking of a revelation about the fifth-overall pick in an offense led by Joe Burrow. But each year, NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund does a fun analytical deep dive about the draft classes and came up with this for Chase:

“Next Gen Stats shows that the Bengals used 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) on the greatest percentage of snaps in the NFL last season (75.4), setting up nicely for Chase to immediately be on the field with both Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. As for Chase’s impact potential from a reunion with his LSU quarterback, Joe Burrow, one area that flags for success is deep passes (20-plus air yards). Last season, Cincinnati receivers averaged just 6.9 yards per target, the second-lowest mark in the NFL (NGS). According to Pro Football Focus, Chase leads FBS receivers with 14 deep TD receptions since 2019 — pretty remarkable, considering the LSU product opted out of last season. His 860 yards on deep passes in 2019 led the country.”

While getting big separation won’t be as easy for Chase at the pro level thanks to the uptick in competition he’s lining up against, the early returns from practices sure seem to hint that he’ll do just fine right out of the gates.

Whether Chase can put up better numbers than the rest of the class might hinge on if the Bengals keep Burrow on an NFL-leading attempts pace again.

But as of right now, everything points to Chase far outperforming the other wideouts from his draft class.

List

Notable players on roster bubble at each position group as Bengals approach training camp