In the weeks leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft, both Bengals director of pro personnel Duke Tobin and head coach Zac Taylor believed they would get a premier player with the fifth overall pick.
When Chase was available at No. 5, the Bengals jumped at the chance to select one of the best wide receiver prospects in recent memory.
Get to know Chase and find out why he is an exciting addition to the Bengals roster.
Besties With Burrow
The last time Chase played in a football game, LSU got 221 yards receiving and two touchdowns from him on nine catches in the Tigers' 42-25 win over Clemson for the national championship on Jan. 13, 2020. His quarterback for that game, current Bengals signal caller Joe Burrow. In 2019 with Burrow as his quarterback, Chase was a unanimous All-American and won the Biletnikoff Award setting the Southeastern Conference single-season records for receiving yards (1,780) and touchdowns (20).
Got To Be The Shoes
At LSU, Chase had one of the most unique superstitions changing his cleats at halftime of every game. The ritual certainly worked as he became one of the top receivers in LSU history even though he only played two seasons with the Tigers. He capped his LSU career with 98 receptions for 2,093 yards and 23 touchdowns and was the first player in school history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark in first two seasons as a Tiger.
Pro Day Buzz
Everybody was buzzing about Chase's LSU pro day in late March. It was easy to see why. Chase ran a 4.38 40-yard dash, recorded a 41-inch vertical leap and 11-foot, two-inch broad jump. The numbers nearly mirrored physical freaks like Julio Jones and DK Metcalf from the respective workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine.
With Chase selected at No. 5 overall, he's the highest drafted wide receiver in LSU history. The earliest selected receiver out of LSU prior to Chase was Odell Beckham Jr., who went No. 12 to the New York Giants in 2014. LSU's other first round receivers were Wendell Davis to Chicago with the 27th pick in 1988, Eddie Kennison to St. Louis at No. 18 in 1996, Michael Clayton to Tampa Bay at No. 15 in 2004, Dwayne Bowe to Kansas City at No. 23 in 2007, Craig Davis to San Diego at No. 30 in 2007, and Justin Jefferson to Minnesota at No. 22 last year.
For those who have followed Chase since his high school days, his amazing athletic ability is no surprise. Chase was an all-state long jumper at Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie, La. Chase was the 5A state winner in the long jump with a mark of 24 feet, 2 1/2 inches back in 2017. Chase also participated in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 300-meter hurdles, and high jump throughout his high school career.