Joe Burrow | QB – LSU

The Cincinnati Bengals cannot possibly botch this thing on draft night. With arguably the most anticipated quarterback since Andrew Luck available for their taking with the #1 overall selection, it seems as though the Athens, Ohio native is destined to be a Cincinnati Bengal. 

It is no secret that Burrow’s deadly accuracy stems from near-flawless footwork and mechanics. Every single drop back, he repeats the same process without fail. When he goes to throw he always has a solid base with his feet lined up to his target and follows this with equally impressive upper body mechanics delivering the ball accurately, on time, and with the necessary velocity and trajectory. Burrow’s mastery of the fundamentals allows him to play an instinctual style of football, simply reacting to the defense and getting the ball to where it needs to be. In addition, Burrow clearly has an advanced understanding of defenses, at the college level at least and is rarely outsmarted by defensive coordinators. The knock on Burrow, if any, is the fact that he may not have the same pure arm strength as other guys in this draft. With that said, he certainly makes up for it with his mechanics and footwork, and regardless has the ability to throw the football down the field effortlessly. 

A few concerns have surfaced surrounding his ability to play in unfriendly weather in the AFC North, but those concerns certainly don’t seem to be a red flag of any sort. The real question to be asked is where did this Joe Burrow come from? In truly miraculous fashion Burrow transformed himself from being a day 3 developmental quarterback to becoming one of the most astonishing quarterbacks in College football history. This begs the question of whether his success is replicable, and to that, the answer is most definitely yes. Burrow displays qualities that immediately translate to the NFL, and are elements of elite quarterbacking at any level of football. 

The list of jaw-dropping plays goes on without end, eluding pressure, throwing the ball into tight windows, delivering the ball with pinpoint accuracy 50 yards down the field… but one play, in particular, embodies Burrow’s character as a football player. 4th and 10 with 2:39 left in the half on their own 39-yard line LSU goes with an aggressive mentality in order to stay ahead of Alabama with a 6 point lead. Out of all the possible plays to choose from they call a QB draw, and Burrow gets met by a defender 5 yards short of the line to gain. At this point in time, he has absolutely no business getting to the marker. Nevertheless, he tucks the ball away and continues driving his feet and bouncing around in between defenders and somehow gets past three Bama players, willing himself to a first down, simply wanting it more than the rest. 

“IT” is a quality that cannot be defined by words or measured by numbers, but if anyone in this draft class has “IT” it’s Joe Burrow. He will have to play smart football and won’t have the luxury of playing with a dominant group of guys like he did at LSU. Burrow will surely elevate the guys around him, but a significant part of his success will be determined by his soon to be head coach Zac Taylor, the coaching staff, front office, and other members of the organization. It is in their hands to put their quarterback in the best possible position to reach his full potential and take the Cincinnati Bengals to new heights.

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