With the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bengals select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow…
Joe Burrow Career Statistics
Burrow lost a year as a redshirt freshman and then sat behind J.T. Barrett at Ohio State for the 2016-2017 seasons before transferring to LSU in 2018. Even factoring in Burrow’s older age for a first-year quarterback, Burrow’s short resume as a starter is anchored by a major breakout this past season. He enters the NFL ranking in the 95th percentile or above in career yards per pass attempt (9.4), completion rate (68.8%), and TD/INT ratio at 7.1:1. He also has a bit of mobility, rushing for 399 and 368 yards in each of his two seasons as a starter.
In 2019, Burrow was arguably the most impressive first down passer that we’ve ever seen and nearly swept the collegiate field last season in on-target accuracy percentage in every sector of the field.
There have been eight quarterbacks selected with the No. 1 overall selection since 2008. Of those eight quarterbacks, six have started right from the start in Week 1. The other two that did not start in Week 1, Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield, still ended up starting seven and 13 games as rookies. I would suggest that Burrow has strong odds to be the Week 1 starter for the Bengals as they still explore a potential trade for Andy Dalton if he is not outright released. But regardless, if the team holds onto Dalton, Burrow is going to play a lot in year one.
In going to the Bengals, Burrow inherits a mixed bag of surrounding skill talent. Tyler Boyd has gone over 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons and is under contract through the 2023 season. A.J. Green still has it within his range of outcomes to be an alpha lead target, but he will turn 32-years-old this July and has missed 29 games since the 2015 season.
John Ross, Alex Erickson, and Auden Tate all are in the final seasons of their contracts with Tate being a restricted free agent when 2020 comes to an end. The team also lacks any significant pass-catching tight end. Expect the Bengals to add some young weaponry for Burrow in this draft.
A positive is that the Bengals are willing to be aggressive offensively, which ties into that early down success Burrow displayed a year ago at LSU. In their first season under Zac Taylor, the Bengals were eighth in the NFL in passing rate (61%) in situations trailing by seven or fewer points outside of the fourth quarter and also eighth in those spots in passing rate on first downs (61%).
Burrow will immediately slide in as a QB2 option in 2QB formats and a streaming bench option in 1QB leagues for 2020.