They’re both “built different.”
Ja’Marr Chase was the fifth overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft out of LSU. Like most of his 2020 opt out counterparts who were taken early in last year’s draft (Micah Parsons, Rashawn Slater, Penei Sewell included), Chase has proven that the final year of college is overrated for some players.
At 6’1, 200 lbs and dominant as a college sophomore playing with Joe Burrow — 84 catches, 1,780 yards, 20 TD — Chase even stood out while playing alongside Justin Jefferson, arguably two of the top three wideouts today next to Cooper Kupp. Chase posted a 4.34 40-yard dash at the combine, an 11’ broad jump, a 41” vertical, a 3.99 shuttle, and a 6.96 three-cone time. All fairly unique and special, just like the rookie season he had in 2021.
Despite overtures for the Cincinnati Bengals to draft Sewell or Slater, the team opted to reunite Chase and Burrow in the NFL and the results made the quarterback among the top players at his position even earlier than expected for a number one overall pick, and Chase is a Pro Bowl/second-team All-Pro player already. Chase was targeted 128 times, catching 81 passes for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Chase had 201 yards playing against a Ravens defense that had Marlon Humphrey and 266 yards in a regular season win over the Chiefs. The rookie was held to 54 yards in the AFC Championship against Kansas City, but scored the game-tying touchdown as well and he topped 100 yards in each of Cincinnati’s first two playoff contests. Chase did have a midseason slump and so did the Bengals:
From Week 8-Week 14, Chase caught only 26-of-51 targets for 284 yards and lost a fumble as the Bengals went 3-4 in that stretch. He has since been mostly unstoppable again.
How eager is Jalen Ramsey for the chance to be the one who makes the first-year star feel like he’s right back to his opt out days?
Jalen Ramsey was also the fifth overall pick, getting selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars out of Florida State. He is 6’1, 208 lbs at the most recent measurement I can see, putting him as a clear physical match for one of the most physically-demanding receivers in the league. At his combine, Ramsey ran a 4.41 40-yard dash, posted an 11’3 broad jump, 41.5” vertical, 4.18 shuttle, and 6.94 three-cone.
While Chase is slightly faster in the 40 and shuttle, Ramsey beats him in broad and three-cone, with practically a tie in the vertical. Ramsey has made first team All-Pro three times, including each of the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams.
According to Pro-Football-Reference, Ramsey was targeted 98 times, allowing 58 receptions (59%), 6.4 yards per target, a passer rating against of 71.1, with four interceptions.
Ramsey was seen allowing a touchdown to Mike Evans and you could nitpick his performance here and there, but with as difficult as it is to stop quarterbacks from passing—especially when they’re Tom Brady and company—he’s as good as anyone in the NFL. While we cannot say who Ramsey is covering at any given time when we look back at the top receivers that went against the Rams in 2021, we can still look at who the top receivers are and how they did.
Eight receivers posted 100+ yards against the LA Rams in 2021, but the most was 123 by Michael Pittman Jr in Week 2.
The only player to have over 100 yards and a touchdown against the Rams was Mike Evans in the divisional round. He’s the only one.
Justin Jefferson had 116 yards on 12 targets, eight catches. Brandon Aiyuk had 107 yards in Week 18. Davante Adams caught eight of nine targets for 104 yards. A.J. Green had 102 yards, as if he was still the A.J. Green in Cincinnati that wasn’t replaced by Chase.
Of those between 90-99 yards were Deebo Samuel twice, DK Metcalf, Jauan Jennings, D’Andre Swift, Randall Cobb, and James Conner. So two or three running backs in there.
As the obvious best player in the secondary, Ramsey has a lot to do with shutting down a lot of receivers over the last two and a half years in L.A.. Where does Ja’Marr Chase rank among those matchups and receivers? How concerned are Rams fans with Chase in the Super Bowl? How many targets, catches, and yards will Chase have in the Super Bowl? How much will Ramsey trail Ja’Marr Chase in the Super Bowl?
Hopefully a lot. This is the matchup most are most eager to see.
How concerned are you with Ja’Marr Chase facing the Rams in the Super Bowl?
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1 (none, Ramsey will shut him down)
Which of these wide receivers is the most difficult matchup for Jalen Ramsey?
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