Former LSU star Ja'Marr Chase is the highest-rated receiving prospect available in the 2021 NFL Draft. Sitting out of the 2020 college football season did nothing to affect his draft stock after the statement he made with his play in 2019. WR-needy teams are lining up to make Chase their top pick later this month.
The betting odds for Chase's potential draft position highlight that it's a race between two teams to select the wideout. The over/under for his draft position is 6.5 on WynnBET, with -150 odds on the under and +104 odds on the over. The plus odds on the over indicate Vegas believes it's more likely for Chase to be picked by No. 6 at worst.
Based on that information, coupled with the knowledge the first three teams are selecting a quarterback and the Falcons already have bigger issues to address with the No. 4 pick, the two teams who seem destined to select Chase based on the Vegas odds are the Cincinnati Bengals (fifth overall pick) or Miami Dolphins (sixth overall pick).
The big storyline regarding Chase to the Bengals is a reunion with Joe Burrow. The two lit up opponents during Chase's breakout 2019 campaign. The wideout's 84 catches for 1,780 yards and 20 TDs with Burrow as his QB are the reason he's one of the most coveted receivers in the draft.
Selecting Chase is an alluring possibility. He'd instantly make this young receiving core with Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins one of the most exciting in the league. However, Burrow's season-ending injury last year was evidence the Bengals need to prioritize improving their protection around him. Top offensive lineman Penei Sewell is the choice that makes the most sense for that reason at No. 5.
The Dolphins will jump on the opportunity to select Chase if he falls to No. 6. Ugrading their receiving options is the best way to set Tua Tagovailoa up for success after he struggled at times in 2020. Tagovailoa now steps in as the full-time starter, and grabbing Chase to be his WR1 of the future is a smart move.
Chase would form an imposing receiving trio with DeVante Parker and new addition Will Fuller, adding to a passing attack that also features tight end Mike Gesicki. Tagovailoa taking the next step surrounded by those weapons will make the Dolphins legitimate contenders next season.
The Detroit Lions (7), Carolina Panthers (8) and Philadelphia Eagles (12) also are logical Chase suitors, though he is a long shot to even last that long in the draft.