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Joe Burrow Is Going To Be A Star (2020 NFL Draft)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Mar 8, 2020

Joe Burrow had a historical season in 2019 and is set to be the No. 1 pick

Joe Burrow, LSU

Height: 6’4″
Weight: 221 pounds
40-yard dash: N/A
Hand Size: 9.0 inches

There’s not much doubt that Burrow will be the first player selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s the consensus No. 1 quarterback in the industry and the Bengals happen to have a weakness at the position. There were some questions about his 9.0-inch hands at the Combine, but when you actually sit down and watch him play, there shouldn’t be any concern.

Burrow closed out his college career with a historic season, throwing for 320-plus yards in 13-of-15 games in 2019, including three-plus touchdowns in 14 of them. His 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns in 2019 made it the best season in SEC history, though some will argue it’s too small of a sample size, as Burrow had thrown for just 16 touchdowns and five interceptions in 2018.

Here’s my detailed scouting report on Joe Burrow (ratings out of five stars):

Arm Strength/Throwing Mechanics

Would like to see him step into his throws a bit more, as he will remain upright at times, but that’s likely what allows him to have the touch he does on deep balls. There isn’t a throw he can’t make, even if he doesn’t have elite arm strength, as he’s not someone who’ll wow you throwing the ball with tremendous velocity.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Accuracy

His deep-ball accuracy is phenomenal, as he has the “drop-it-in” ball that guys like Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson have/had where the ball gets so much air under it and then just drops over the head of defenders. It’s something that cannot be taught. He’s also someone who’s a “thrower” and not an “aimer” of the football, which is a good thing. He doesn’t allow a tight coverage situation force him into trying to throw the ball into a tiny space. Instead, he puts the ball where only his receiver can make a play on it. He had playmakers all over the field, but he continually put them in the best situation to win.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mobility

He’s not afraid to tuck the ball and run if there’s no one open, but he does a good job keeping that as his last option. He has decent athleticism but he’s not someone who should be running very often, as he needs to get better at avoiding big hits. There were way too many times I saw him take an unnecessary hit while carrying the ball and wondered if he’d get up. The good news is that he has enough mobility to extend plays, but it needs to be harnessed.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐

Pocket Awareness

He feels pressure in the pocket but doesn’t overreact to it. It’s honestly rare to see someone so young have such great awareness to everything going on around him. There are times where he may seem a little too relaxed with so much pressure around him and take a sack, but you’d rather see that than a player who feels pressure that isn’t there. The best part about watching Burrow is that he seems to have so much command over the offense and that nothing is going to affect him.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Vision/Decision-Making

Will sometimes stare down his target a bit too much. Did go through progressions at times, so it’s not like he didn’t do it at all, just need to make sure he doesn’t have select plays where he’s locked onto one target. When he starts scanning the field, he does a great job finding the open man. When staring in the face of pressure, he will throw off his back foot at times, which is something that’s correctable, but it could lead to turnovers with the speed of the NFL.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Anticipation

Does a solid job throwing the ball at the breakpoint in a receiver’s route, not waiting until he’s out of the break and leaving him susceptible to interceptions. This is a trait that often grows when you become familiar with your receivers, so he’s only going to get better as he develops chemistry with them.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Projected Draft Spot

He’s going to be the first pick in the draft. If the Bengals were to pass on Burrow, he’d make them regret it for a long time. If the Bengals were to open talks to trade back, there should be a lot of teams in line to move up and acquire Burrow.

NFL Comparison

While watching Burrow, I was reminded of Tony Romo. Both remain extremely calm, even when there’s so much going on around them. Neither have the most arm strength but were able to make every throw. Lastly, they both have the mobility to extend plays, which can help overcome a less-than-stellar offensive line. Not many remember just how mobile Romo was when his career started, but as his mobility started to fade, he became an even better pocket passer. Burrow is further along as a passer than Romo was when he came into the league, but needs to learn how to protect himself, or he’ll wind up with some of the injuries that Romo had late in his career.

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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