NFL Draft: LSU QB Burrow Selected First by Bengals

by Kevin Fielder
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Photo Credit: LSU Athletics

The Cincinnati Bengals have a new hometown hero.

With the first overall selection of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bengals selected LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

After an up-and-down 2018 season, Burrow and LSU took the next step in 2019, going undefeated and winning the National Championship over Clemson. Over the season, Burrow completed 76 percent of his passes for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns. Burrow’s performances earned him the Heisman Trophy at the end of the season. 

Now, Burrow will head back to his birth state of Ohio and lead the Cincinnati Bengals.

Player Comparison

Joe Burrow does not have elite arm strength that jumps off the page but for Burrow, it isn’t necessary. His ability to escape the pocket, along with his understanding of the game and 2019 ascension makes him the best option at the quarterback position.

During the NFL Draft process, Joe Burrow has drawn a lot of comparisons to former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

While it is difficult to find a perfect comparison for Burrow, his elite accuracy and ability to escape pressure compares closely to Tony Romo, who finished his NFL career in 2016. 

Over his 13-year career, Romo completed 65 percent of his passes for 34,813 passing yards, 248 touchdowns, and just 117 interceptions. In 2014, Romo was named to the All-Pro second team, as he threw for 3,705 yards and 34 touchdowns.


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What the Analysts Say

We haven’t seen an ascension from a QB prospect ever like we saw from Burrow during the 2019 season. While his arm strength is slightly above average, it’s his other qualities that help make his game among the best of any prospect entering the draft. His pocket vision helps him navigate in and out of the pocket, but it’s his accuracy that’s his most dangerous weapon. –Jordan Reid, The Draft Network

People’s champ with rags-to-riches story arc culminating in one of the greatest one-year turnarounds in sports history. He’s self-assured and plays with competitive toughness that teammates will gravitate toward instantly. He’s a rhythm passer who benefited from tempo and scheme, but his vision, touch and read recognition made the offense special. -Lance Zierlein, NFL Network

Team Fit

After finishing the 2019 NFL season with just one win, the Cincinnati Bengals need a quarterback and Joe Burrow is the best fit in the NFL Draft.

Although Burrow has just average arm strength, his accuracy and ability to escape the pocket are as good as they come. His talents, combined with Zac Thomas’s offensive scheme that maximizes the abilities of Burrow will help him succeed early. 

Burrow enters a situation with great offensive weapons, including wide receivers Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green. With the top pick in the second round, the Bengals could look to pair an offensive tackle with Burrow.

Burrow’s ceiling is high, and so is his floor. If everything clicks for Burrow, the possibilities are endless. Not only could Burrow be a consistent Pro Bowl player, but could also be a transcendent talent in Cincinnati.

 

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