LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is seen as the consensus No. 1 overall player in the 2020 NFL Draft. The reigning Heisman winner and national champion will go to the Cincinnati Bengals with the first pick in next week’s draft.
This was not always the case. Burrow wasn’t even on the radar of NFL teams heading into his senior season with the Tigers.
In addressing a player many view as a franchise quarterback, one NFC coach firmly believes that Burrow would be a high-risk selection for the Bengals.
“He (Burrow) ends up with a pro coach (Joe Brady) in a really good system with the best players. He’s a great processor and he is everything I’d want in a quarterback — if I took him in the second or third round,” the unnamed coach said, via Tom Pelissero of NFL Media. “He’s not a natural thrower, can’t really pump it down the field. Now, he can throw it back shoulder and uncovered and he’s got anticipation, but that ball’s wobbling. Love him, but I think he’s a high-risk guy at 1.”
That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the record-breaking quarterback. After all, Burrow is coming off a 2019 campaign that saw him put up north of 6,000 total yards with 65 touchdowns and six interceptions. It’s almost like he was playing “Madden” on rookie level.
Despite this, the concern is valid. Burrow could have very well been a one-hit wonder in a pro-style offense with some of the best weapons in the modern history of college football. Likely first-round pick Justin Jefferson tallied 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was outdone by a player in Ja’Marr Chase who put up nearly 1,800 receiving yards.
Things will change dramatically once it comes to playing against elite competition for a rebuilding Bengals squad.
A scout from another NFC team indicated that others are lying their a**es off when it comes to how they projected Burrow heading into the 2019 season.
Remember, the likely top pick did lose out to Dwayne Haskins for the Ohio State starting job prior to transferring to LSU. That could be of concern, too.
In no way does this mean Cincinnati is going to get cold feet. The team will draft Burrow No. 1 overall and rely on him to be the face of the franchise moving forward. Take that to the bank.