Ja’Marr Chase solidifies his case as WR1 and is a legitimate option for the Falcons

axa1911305133 tamu at lsu

Most of the talk yesterday surrounded Kyle Pitts, who tested like a unicorn at Florida’s pro day, but he wasn’t the only dynamic offensive prospect to open eyes with his athleticism. Ja’Marr Chase, who was already widely considered the best wide receiver in this draft class, also put to bed any doubts with his performance yesterday at LSU’s pro day.

The former Tiger ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and recorded a 41-inch vertical to go along with 23 reps on the bench press.

If you follow me on Twitter (go ahead — click the link; I know you want to), you know how skeptical I am of these 40 times at pro days. The reality is they are extremely favorable to the players, which is why this might seem like the fastest class ever. Every program seems to have a player that can run a sub 4.40 40-yard dash, which simply isn’t the case. However, you can’t fake a 41-inch vertical, and that’s part of what makes Chase so unguardable.

Time and time again, on tape, you see Chase win at the line of scrimmage and throughout the route. He’s an excellent route runner that can create separation because his routes all look similar at the stem. But even when he doesn’t, he’s still considered open because of his body control, awareness, and strength. The way he was able to dominate college AT 19-YEARS-OLD is nothing short of incredible. He deserves to be the first wide receiver off the board, and though the Falcons are loaded at the position, he very well may be the best player available when Terry Fontenot and company are on the clock.

Beyond that, taking Chase would also give the new regime some flexibility when it comes to Julio Jones. The fact that they have not restructured Jones’ contract yet suggests they are not 100% committed to him after this season. That could mean he will be available for trade next offseason. Taking a talent like Chase in the first round would make the transition from life after Jones a seamless one.

Photo: John Korduner/Icon Sportswire

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