Chase or Sewell for the Bengals?

Chase or Sewell for the Bengals?

Taylor Vaysman
2 years ago
3 min read

The Case for Chase

The Bengals have never been one to shy away from targeting receivers early in the draft, dating back to AJ Green and John Ross, as well as using an early second-round pick on Tee Higgins last year. Chase is another receiver who could be a mainstay in the orange and black for the next several years.

Chase opted out of the 2020 season yet still is almost universally seen as the top wideout in this year’s draft. In 2019, with Joe Burrow as his quarterback, Chase finished with 84 catches for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. His final college game was the National Championship game against Clemson, where he reeled in nine catches for 221 yards and a pair of TDs in LSU’s 42-25 victory.

Standing at six feet flat but a solid 210 pounds, Chase has a prototypical build needed to be a future number one receiver. Pairing him with Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, who combined for 10 touchdowns last year, would give the Bengals a young, explosive trio that has the chance to become one of the best units in the NFL.

The Case for Sewell

While it’s not the sexiest pick, the Bengals have a clear need for offensive line help. In case you didn’t know that, ask Joe Burrow after making it just 10 games before needing season-ending surgery. And right now, Sewell is the top lineman in the class who can protect Burrow’s blindside for the next decade.

Like Chase, Sewell decided to opt out of the 2020 season. However, it did not affect his standing as the top lineman of the class. 

Originally recruited as a guard, Sewell shifted to tackle, moving to the left side as a sophomore for Oregon. It was there he found enormous success, taking 1,376 snaps in two seasons and allowing just one sack, something Burrow took 32 of last season.

Size is not an issue for Sewell, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, and neither is his ability to man either tackle spot. The Bengals currently have former first-round pick Jonah Williams slotted to protect Burrow’s blindside, as well as free agent acquisition Riley Rieff who signed a one-year deal. Still, Sewell has a higher ceiling than both and gives the Bengals’ most important player the protection he needs to stay healthy.

Who Should They Pick?

It depends on who you ask, to be frank. Both Chase and Sewell represent clear needs for the future of the franchise while also presenting excellent value even at the fifth spot in the draft. And that’s not even getting to Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, who, if available, would be incredibly hard for Cincinnati to pass up on due to his combination of size, strength, and speed at an invaluable position.

However, assuming the choice is between Chase and Sewell, I think the Bengals should take Sewell. The sentiment may have been different if Burrow made it through the season, but he did not. His hardly minor injuries should be a clear sign to Cincinnati that keeping him healthy is priority number one.

Sewell may or may not be a perennial All-Pro caliber player. But all of the scouts see him as a future starting tackle for the foreseeable future, something that the Bengals could use, especially with Rieff in town for just a season. He even has the endorsement of former Bengals tackle and Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, someone who the team should listen to when it comes to identifying o-line talent.

While passing on Chase will sting, the early second round presents plenty of alternative options for the Bengals to target a receiver. Plenty of mock drafts have connected Cincinnati to Chase’s teammate Terrace Marshall Jr., who is a bigger target than most of the top receivers with a big catch radius for their young QB. Even others like Purdue’s Rondale Moore or UNC’s Dyami Brown would be solid Day 2 additions for the Bengals.

If Sewell can be an above-average tackle and keep Burrow from getting hit at the rate, he was his rookie season, and the pick will have been a success. For those reasons, Sewell should be Cincy’s choice Thursday night.

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