Can Ja’Marr Chase Win Rookie of the Year +1400?

Can Ja’Marr Chase Win Rookie of the Year +1400?

Ryan Knuppel
3 years ago
3 min read
Can Ja’Marr Chase Win Rookie of the Year +1400?

The Cincinnati Bengals used their fifth-overall draft selection on Ja’Marr Chase, an LSU pass-catcher, in this year’s NFL Draft, reuniting him with his college quarterback, Joe Burrow. 

Expectations are high for Chase and the Bengals offense this season, now that they will have their sophomore QB back from injury and the complements of his favorite college target; Cinci as a team is still expected to finish in the bottom half of the division due to the congestion near the top, but all eyes will be on their electric passing attack that features the best young talent in football. 

With Burrow feeding Chase the ball in an offense that is looking to get up and down the field as quickly as possible, the former Tiger has a serious chance at winning Offensive Rookie of the Year this season. 

What are Chase’s Chances?

In order to win the award, Chase is simply going to have to stand out as the best offensive player in the 2021 crop; this includes outperforming five first-round quarterback picks, who usually are favored more highly in the awards races. He will also have to take down Devonta Smith, who just won the Heisman last season. 

Justin Jefferson recently finished second in the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year race after snatching 88 catches for 1,400 yards (fourth-most in the league) and seven touchdowns— the award-winner, Justin Herbert, was similarly impressive from the quarterback position, which helped him ultimately seize the award. 

What Does Chase Need to Do?

Simply put, Ja’Marr Chase needs to lean on Burrow to force-feed him the ball and convert as many opportunities as he can; he is listed second in the depth chart behind Tyler Boyd and thus will receive a slightly diminished workload, though he could vault to the number-one spot by the end of the season if all goes well. 

In addition, the former LSU man needs to help his team win games, which is very hard to do as a wideout. The Bengals have been a laughingstock for a while, and his play could help them at least draw closer to .500, if not exceeding the mark. 

Lastly, the 6-foot-1 target has to come down with touchdowns; nothing speaks to committees of voters like impact on the game, and there is no greater metric for impact than TDs. Chase caught 20 touchdowns in 14 games as a sophomore and is a reliable red-zone threat, though he must re-prove himself at the professional level to truly be considered for the award.  

Final Thought

Ja’Marr Chase has a solid chance to win the award, especially with many thinking that Justin Jefferson was snubbed last season; if Chase can enter the final stretch of the season level with a QB, he could receive the award with some assistance from the narrative that he deserves it. 

Of course, he will need to play at a supreme level and, more than likely, become a top-20, borderline top-15 receiver to really steal the headlines. His college tape showed that he could be a player of that ilk, and now it is up to him to prove it.

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