Weight: 216 pounds
School: LSU Tigers
Joe Burrow 2020 NFL Draft Profile
Ohio is a football hotbed that’s produced quite a few players who’ve become successful pros in the NFL. Joe Burrow has an opportunity to continue that trend. The Athens, OH native showed flashes of coming brilliance in high school, winning seven playoff games during his career and throwing for 4,500 yards, 63 touchdowns, and just two interceptions as a senior. It led to him receiving 12 scholarship offers from Power Five programs. In the end, he decided to stay in-state by committing to Ohio State, comprising Urban Meyer‘s 2015 class.
After redshirting, Burrow found it difficult to break through into the Buckeyes starting lineup. He was a backup behind J.T. Barrett as a freshman and sophomore and when it became apparent that Dwayne Haskins would succeed Barrett as the starter, Burrow decided to make the move down south, transferring to LSU. He was immediately eligible as a grad transfer and it didn’t take long for him to prove his capability of playing at a high level, especially since it came in the grinder that is the SEC.
Hints of his coming championship exploits came during his debut season in Baton Rouge when he went 10-3 as the Tigers’ starter. Four of those 10 wins came over teams who were ranked in the AP Top 10 at the time, including a 36-16 win over second-ranked Georgia on October 13. Expectations were high heading into 2019. And suffice it to say, both Burrow and his Tiger teammates met them and then some. He became the first quarterback in SEC history to throw for 5,000+ yards and 50+ touchdowns in a single season, joined Billy Cannon as just the second LSU player to win the Heisman Trophy and led his team to an undefeated 15-0 season which culminated in a 42-25 win over Clemson in the CFP title game.
- prototypical NFL size/frame;
- effortless release with solid mechanics;
- tremendous poise and pocket presence;
- can deliver the ball where only his receiver can get it;
- exceptional year-over-year improvement suggests plenty of room for growth;
- cycles through progressions as opposed to excessively keying on primary read;
- capable of making plays with his feet if the need arises;
- faced high-level competition on a weekly basis in the SEC;
- 25-3 record as a starter at LSU;
- should be able to quickly grasp pro-style concepts;
- one of four FBS quarterbacks to average over 10 yards per pass in 2019;
- led the nation in completed passes of 50+ yards;
- brings his A-game in big moments.
- susceptible to edge pressure as he remains too static in the pocket at times;
- intermediate/deep throws tend to sail on him;
- has a tendency to resort to check-downs;
- arm strength is suitable but doesn’t particularly jump out on film;
- needs to slide rather than absorb contact to avoid injury.
NFL Comparison: Jared Goff
Projection: First overall pick
A proven winner who knocked off the juggernaut programs that are Alabama and Clemson en route to a national title, Joe Burrow’s emergence as the top quarterback prospect in this year’s draft is noteworthy. Prior to the 2019 season, many draft experts projected him as a mid-round pick at best. Now it’s pretty much a given that the Bengals are going to bring him back to his home state. It definitely feels like the right time to move on from Andy Dalton, a process that will take its next step when Roger Goodell announces Burrow’s name in Vegas this coming April.
Burrow showcased plenty of traits that NFL teams look for in franchise quarterbacks. He has a quick release and delivers the ball with extreme precision as evidenced by his 76.3 percent completion percentage, the second-best mark in FBS history. Though he needs to become a bit more dynamic in the pocket given how quickly the pressure comes to quarterbacks at the next level, there’s much to suggest he can blossom into an impact player in the NFL for years to come. There certainly will be growing pains during his rookie year. But Bengals fans have reason to hope that he can help them return to prominence in the AFC North.