NFL Teams Copying Bengals’ Burrow-Chase Model By Reuniting College QB-WR Duos in Pros

The Cardinals became the latest team to do it by bringing WR Hollywood Brown to Arizona to team with his Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray

Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals look on from the sidelines
Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals look on from the sidelines.
Dylan Buell/Getty

In two seasons together at LSU, quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase connected on 84 passes for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns and also won a national title together in 2019.

Reunited in the NFL last season after they were picked in the first round of the draft by the Bengals in back-to-back years, the dynamic duo helped carry Cincinnati to their first Super Bowl in more than 30 years and hooked up on 81 passes for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns along the way.

This offseason, a number of teams have opted to copy Cincy’s model by reuniting a successful college QB-WR duo in the pros, with the latest example being the Arizona Cardinals trading the 23rd overall pick in last night’s draft to the Baltimore Ravens for receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and a third-round pick (No. 100).

Brown, who finished last year with 91 receptions, 1,008 yards and six touchdowns, will reunite with his former college QB Kyler Murray in Arizona, and the Cardinals are betting the two will re-establish the chemistry they had together at Oklahoma. Based on his response on Twitter, Murray sounds optimistic the plan will work.

And maybe he should be, as a number of NFL teams — including the Miami Dolphins with QB Tua Tagovailoa and WR Jaylen Waddle (Alabama), the Jacksonville Jaguars with QB Trevor Lawrence and RB/WR Travis Etienne Jr. (Clemson) and the Philadelphia Eagles with QB Jalen Hurt and WR DeVonta Smith (Alabama) — have done what the Bengals did.

The Las Vegas Raiders also went down the same route this offseason when they made a massive deal with the Packers to bring star wideout Davante Adams to the desert from Green Bay to catch passes from his former Fresno State teammate Derek Carr. Adams, a five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time first-team All-Pro, and Carr, a three-time Pro Bowler, have yet to hook up in the pros but promise to be a potent offensive combination when they do.

With six more rounds of this year’s draft yet to play out, it will be interesting to see if more teams attempt to copy the Burrow-Chase pairing by drafting a wideout, quarterback or pass-catching running back to team with a player who is already on their roster. For example, the New England Patriots could select Alabama receiver John Metchie III to pair him with their first-round pick from last year, ex-Crimson Tide signal-caller Mac Jones. If they do that, perhaps it’ll take some of the shade off of what the Patriots did with their first-round pick.

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