‘Under 25′ NFL List Singles Out Bengals’ Superstar Wide Receiver

Ja'Marr Chase

Getty Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase.

The Cincinnati Bengals have drafted some of the NFL’s best young players over the last few years — ones the franchise hopes stay with the team their entire careers.

PFF’s Zolton Buday singled out one of those players, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, as one of the NFL’s 25 Best Players Under 25 Years Old.

Buday put Chase at No. 4 — the top wide receiver to make the cut.

“The former LSU Tiger has graded between 83.9 and 85.4 in all three of his NFL seasons, making him one of the most consistent receivers in the league,” Buday wrote. “He also had a career-low four drops in 2023, bringing in 93.6% of his catchable targets, a rate that ranked seventh in the NFL.”

Chase, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft out of LSU, turned 24 years old on March 1.

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell was ranked No. 1 on the list, followed by New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner at No. 2 and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence at No. 3.

Chase Has Been One of NFL’s Best Since Rookie Year

The connection between Chase and Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow was evident to football fans across the world in 2019. That’s when the two teamed up on arguably the greatest college football team of all time and led LSU to a 15-0 season and the College Football Playoff national championship.

That season, Chase had 84 receptions for 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns – a staggering 21.2 yards per catch — and won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top collegiate wide receiver.

Burrow was selected No. 1 overall by the Bengals in 2020 and Chase chose to sit out the 2020 season because of the pandemic.

Chase’s rookie season in 2021 was one for the ages.

Paired with Burrow once again, he had 81 receptions for 1,455 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns during the regular season. He added 25 receptions for 368 receiving yards and 1 touchdown in the playoffs as the Bengals shocked the world by making it to the Super Bowl as Chase set the NFL record for most postseason receiving yards by a rookie.

That season, Chase was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and earned first-team NFL All-Pro honors.

Despite missing 5 games due to injuries in 2022 and 1 game in 2023, Chase has still had at least 1,000 receiving yards in the last two seasons, including a career-high 100 receptions in 2023 despite Burrow missing the last 7 games due to a season-ending wrist injury.

Chase is also a three-time Pro Bowler, making it each of his first three seasons.

Big Payday Seems Assured for Chase

The Bengals picked up the fifth-year option on Chase’s contract for 2025 but there’s little doubt he’s in line for a contract extension that will make him either the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL or second-highest paid behind Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, he and Burrow’s former teammate at LSU.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown is the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL in terms of annual value, with an average salary of $32 million over 3 years, including the most guaranteed money of any wide receiver in NFL history at $84 million.

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams has the highest total value contract for a wide receiver in NFL history — a 5-year, $140 million contract extension signed in March 2022.

Read More