Chase comes in at No. 3 in their rankings, behind Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams at No. 1 and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, Chase’s former LSU teammate, at No. 2.
Big plays are the name of the game in today’s pass-happy NFL, and Chase wasted absolutely no time following in the footsteps of another LSU product-turned-All-Pro (more on him below) as a rookie. Was he a little streaky at times? Sure. But he was also the biggest reason for QB Joe Burrow’s ascent to MVP and Super Bowl candidacy. His instant burst after the catch is reminiscent of peak Odell Beckham Jr. The only mission with him is getting the ball in his hands, because he’s got the talent to do the rest.
It feels like Chase and Jefferson are interchangeable on this list. And I think there’s a decent argument to be made that either could be No. 1 over Adams, whom I think is slightly overrated.
Don’t get me wrong, Adams is elite. But he’s has spent his entire career with Aaron Rodgers, one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. And his best season came last year — a season that was just slightly better than Chase’s 2021 season.
Chase, of course, was a rookie and playing with a second-year quarterback in Joe Burrow. Adams, on the other hand, was in his eighth season and playing with a quarterback that will be in the Hall of Fame before Chase turns 30. I don’t think it’s egregious to put Adams at No. 1, but the gap between him and Chase isn’t as big as a lot of folks probably think it is.
If Chase improves on his rookie season, he could easily be at the top of this list a year from now.
Featured image via Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK