The Bengals Are a Near-Lock to Select Joe Burrow in the NFL Draft

Joe Burrow Bengals

Getty Joe Burrow is likely the No. 1 pick of the 2020 NFL draft.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. How interested are the Bengals in selecting Burrow? Cincinnati is already trying to get Burrow to play in the Senior Bowl where the Bengals will be coaching one of the teams.

Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy noted on the Stick to Football podcast that Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has spoken with Burrow’s family about potentially playing.

“I always enlist anyone I can to help us recruit for the game and Zac Taylor has reached out to the Burrow family,” Nagy said, per SB Nation. “And there are some really cool Nebraska ties there…Joe’s two older brothers were (Nebraska) Cornhuskers ands obviously Zac Taylor played quarterback there…so there’s a lot of crossover there in terms of people they know and things of that nature.”

It will be interesting to see if Burrow participates in the Senior Bowl given his high draft stock.

Burrow Is the No. 1 Pick in Most NFL Mock Drafts

Burrow is the No. 1 pick in nearly every NFL mock draft. The only player that is thought to have any chance at being the top selection is Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young, but the Bengals have essentially admitted they need help at quarterback.

Cincinnati already benched Andy Dalton during the season only to promote him back to the starting quarterback to close out the season. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler discussed Burrow’s draft stock heading into the national title matchup against Clemson.

Regardless, he is the best draft-eligible prospect in this game. Burrow will be dinged throughout the process for having good, but not great, physical traits (arm strength, size, athleticism). But the rest is near-elite, boasting the accuracy, poise and intangibles that are required to play quarterback at a high level in the NFL.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has Burrow as his No. 2 ranked player behind Young but projects the LSU quarterback to be the No. 1 pick. ESPN’s Todd McShay noted that Burrow had one of the best seasons we have seen from a college football quarterback.

Burrow is finishing up one of the best single-season performances in many years, and I love his pocket presence, toughness, accuracy and competitiveness. Lawrence might not be as advanced in the pocket right now, but another season of game experience should bridge the gap. He has unique mobility for his size and already possesses a stronger arm than Burrow.

Burrow Has Experience Running an NFL-Style Offense

It is no surprise that Burrow’s ascension is tied to a revamped LSU offense over the offseason. LSU hired former Saints’ assistant Joe Brady to transform the LSU offense, and Burrow now has experience running an NFL offense. Heading into the title game, Burrow has thrown for 5,208 yards for 55 touchdowns and just six interceptions while completing more than 77 percent of his passes.

Burrow does his best work from the pocket, but he has also hurt defenses with his legs. Burrow added 310 rushing yards and four touchdowns on thE ground. Burrow’s numbers are drastically higher than a season ago when the quarterback threw for 2,894 yards and 16 touchdowns.

“He’s an NFL quarterback,” Brady said of Burrow, per CBS Sports. “For anybody to put on the tape this year and doubt that [would be ridiculous]. … Joe Burrow is not a system quarterback.”