Why do teams need to avoid taking a quarterback early, much less No. 1 overall? NFL draft history isn’t on the side of teams picking in the top ten.
2020 NFL Draft: Why Cincinnati Should Not Take Joe Burrow No. 1
It’s not about Joe Burrow … sort of.
He’s a great guy, a great story, and he should be a terrific pro who makes a whole lot of money and has a whole lot of success at the next level. But if the Bengals want to win a Super Bowl, going with Burrow – or any quarterback – is asking to buck a historically brutal trend.
To be fair to Cincinnati – and especially to Burrow – it’s not just about the top pick. Taking any quarterback in the top ten is thumbing your nose at the NFL Draft gods, at least if you want to win a Super Bowl.
So what’s wrong with taking Burrow with the No. 1 overall selection?
Okay, it is about him … sort of.
Here are four reasons – from valid to off-the-rails – why Cincinnati shouldn’t take a quarterback No. 1, starting with …
CFN in 60: Why You Don’t Take A QB Early
Burrow’s 2019 numbers at LSU were staggering.
76% for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns, six interceptions, one SEC Championship, one Heisman, one national title, and the greatest single season overall by any quarterback in the history of college football.
There’s no faking that, and there was nothing fluky about his leadership, his swagger, and the way he turned into the pitch-perfect spokesman for a team, a school, and for his region in Ohio.
Forget that he went from being just okay in 2018 to off-the-charts a year later. Sometimes college quarterbacks figure it out, and sometimes they mature as a player. Their body types kick in, the game slows down to a crawl, and it all comes together at once.
But that was college football.
CFN Podcast: The problem taking a QB early
Was it the scheme? All of a sudden, LSU’s offense went bonkers thanks to the right coaching – Joe Brady parlayed his job as the passing game coordinator to the Carolina Panther offensive coordinator gig – the NFL talent at receiver, and Burrow being the right guy to run it all. However …
There’s one glaring difference between Burrow and almost every quarterback selected No. 1 overall since Terry Baker was picked by the Rams in 1963.
The arm. It’s okay, but it’s a limiting factor to his next-level game, and it’s nowhere near No. 1 overall pick-worthy.
Alex Smith didn’t have a howitzer, but he was a bit of an outlier thanks to his spread offense mobility that Burrow doesn’t have. The guy in that 2005 draft who did bring the heat – Aaron Rodgers – fell to the 24th overall pick, and the 49ers and Jim Harbaugh later replaced Smith with Colin Kaepernick, who fired a major league fastball.
That’s not to say Burrow can’t throw, but this is the No. 1 overall pick we’re talking about.
In the NFL, arm matters.
And then there’s this issue …