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Joe Burrow Says He's Not Lobbying Bengals to Draft Ja'Marr Chase Amid Rumors

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2021

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) celebrates with wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) on their touchdown pass play during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. LSU won 50-7. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said Tuesday he isn't lobbying for the team to select former LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase or any other player in the 2021 NFL draft.

Appearing on the Pro Football Focus podcast with Cris Collinsworth (h/t Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com), Burrow gave his take on Cincy's draft situation. When asked if he has a preference regarding who the Bengals take with the No. 5 pick, he said:

"I trust the organization to do what they do and do their jobs and pick the best player. I think we're in a good spot to take just the best available. Especially after the free agency we had. We got a lot of really good players that are going to be a lot of help on defense, and Riley Reiff at tackle is going to help us a lot."

Burrow added: "I'm not watching film on any of these guys. I've just seen highlights. The organization knows more than I do and will make the best pick."

One might assume that Burrow would pulling for Chase given how great a connection they had during their time together at LSU. During Burrow's record-breaking 2019 season that saw him throw for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns and six interceptions en route to the Tigers going undefeated and winning a national title, Chase was his top target.

Chase finished with 85 receptions for 1,785 yards and 20 touchdowns that season, netting him the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the best wideout in college football. While Chase sat out last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he is still widely considered the top wide receiver in the 2021 draft ahead of the Alabama duo of Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith.

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The Bengals are in the most ideal of situations in this year's draft since the four teams picking ahead of them all have a need at quarterback. The Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers are all but certain to take a QB, while the Atlanta Falcons could do so as well at No. 4.

If that happens, the Bengals will have their pick of the litter at other positions, including several who could lend support to the 2020 No. 1 overall pick in Burrow.

Taking Chase to complement wideouts Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd is a possibility, but the Bengals could also go with Florida tight end Kyle Pitts or bulk up Burrow's protection with Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell or Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater.