The Bengals get Burrow
Updated: Aug 24, 2020
The Cincinnati Bengals used the 1st overall pick in the 2020 draft to select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. On course to having arguably the greatest college season of all time Burrow became unanimous All-American and was awarded with the Heisman Trophy, which he won by the largest margin in the history of the award, finishing first with 2,608 points compared to second place Jalen Hurts who ended with 762. In 2019 Burrow led the NCAA in passing yards and completion rate, completing 76.3% of his passes for a total of 5,671 yards in 15 games. He also set NCAA records in quarterback rating finishing with at 202 and touchdowns with 60. LSU finished their season 15-0 after defeating Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson on way to winning the 2020 National Championship Game. What propels Burrows season to be arguably the greatest college season ever is the way his play rose to the occasion when the playoffs came around. In the SEC Championship game against 11-2 Georgia, Burrow threw for 349 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 36-16 win, in the playoff semi-final Peach Bowl against 12-1 Oklahoma Burrow went 29/39 passing for 493 yards and 7 touchdowns along with a rushing touchdown, setting a FBS bowl record and SEC single game record all in just over a half of play before being rested. Then in the National Championship against LSU faced 14-0 Clemson who were on a 29-game winning streak. Burrow finished the game with 6 total touchdowns, 5 passing and 463 yards through the air in a blowout 42-25 win, bringing the championship home to LSU.
As a draft prospect Burrow was a definitive number 1 pick. He fitted all the measurables for a traditionally great quarterback, 6ft 3, good arm strength, accurate and a leader. While Burrow has all the chance and potential in the world to become a great quarterback, Im not confident he will flourish into that in Cincinnati. Throughout the draft period there were rumours Burrow didn’t want to play for the Bengals and could potentially pull an Eli Manning on draft day. However, Burrow did not and will start in Cincinnati week one. Although the Bengals receiving core is full of talent and experience Burrow will not be able to get them the ball unless the Bengals strengthen their offensive line. In 2019 they gave up 48 sacks, bringing Burrow into that situation will be dangerous for the young quarterback’s health and confidence. Additionally, in the past the Bengal’s have refrained from spending big in free agency, however, in 2020 they were the 3rd biggest spenders, dishing out $130 million in contracts. If head coach Zac Taylor and Bengals front office are prepared to spend money and build through free agency as well as the draft, I think they could become play-off contenders in a few years in a very tough AFC North. In 2020 I predict that Burrow will throw for around 3,600 yards, 25 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.