Joe Burrow won the Heisman in record-breaking fashion Saturday night, as he had the largest margin of victory ever. He was barely in the Heisman race to start the season, with his odds at 200/1 to secure the prize, but they quickly shot up as he put up unavoidable weekly numbers.
After three seasons on the bench at Ohio State, he took the risk and transferred to LSU where he would be able to start. He played well in his first season, leading his team to a 10-3 record, but this last season was a huge leap, as he passed for 4,715 yards, 48 touchdowns and six interceptions to lead his team to an undefeated regular season and the No. 1 ranking. His 77.9 percent completion rate would be a record if he can keep it up through the playoffs.
With his college career coming to an end, Burrow is firmly in the running for the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. He is a consensus Top-10 pick, but much depends on who ends up getting the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Right now, the quarterback needy Bengals hold the No. 1 pick and many believe Burrow will be their no-doubt pick if they keep that spot. Multiple scouts talked to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport about Burrow and their assessment of his chances in the NFL varied but all had high praise. Here are a couple to get an idea of how scouts look at him.
“Has played phenomenally well in 2019. Calmness in pocket is rare for a college player. Went from 57 percent to 78 percent (completion percentage) due to system change, full offseason and improved receivers. Leadership and connection to entire team and building is impressive. Could go as high as No. 1, and no way he gets out of top 10.”
“Awesome guy and leader. Intangibles are off the charts. He will go higher than his talent level. He will be the most ready NFL QB prospect in terms of handling an NFL offense, terminology, reads and the demands of the position.”
All the scouts are impressed with his ability to execute efficiently. He is a student of the game and sees the field incredibly well. He won’t blow you away with his arm strength but he combats that with ball placement and anticipating where the throw should go.
They believe he is the most NFL-ready but not the most gifted passer in college football. With the NFL needing win-now quarterbacks more than projects, Burrow is going to be a hot commodity in the draft.
Boomer Esiason even awkwardly welcomed Burrow to the Bengals Sunday morning on CBS:
Boomer Esiason presented Joe Burrow with a Bengals helmet when he visited The NFL Today.— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 15, 2019
Burrow's reaction: pic.twitter.com/eOu6ehNKOT
If the Bengals can hold onto the spot, he’ll likely go to Cincinnati. The Giants, Dolphins, and Washington are all next with three wins. Washington and New York have the quarterback they hope is their long-term answer. Both might look at Ohio State’s defensive end Chase Young if he slips down.
Miami needs an answer at quarterback. They could try and move up to No. 1 with their treasure trove of draft picks, or they could wait and draft another quarterback if Burrow does not slide. For now, as long as the Bengals can stay ahead of the Dolphins, their chances of landing Burrow stay high.