2. Joe Burrow, LSU
Size: 6-3, 221
The Good: You can’t fake 76% for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns with six picks in the greatest single season by any quarterback in the history of college football.
So what if the scheme was right or if he was surrounded by ridiculous coaching and talent. He balled out in big moments away from home against Alabama, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson, and was brilliant when he had to be against Auburn and Florida.
So what that he didn’t blossom until his final year? Some quarterbacks figure it all out once they get a bit older. His accuracy on deep passes, decision-making abilities, and ability to hit his mid-range throws were all flawless.
The Not-So-Good: Just like everyone seems to be looking for things to not like about Oregon’s Justin Herbert, everyone seems to be making excuses for Burrow’s issues.
It really was just a one-year thing after an okay 2018. It really was the scheme, and he really was able to hang the ball up in an area and let his phenomenal receivers make plays. But that’s not the issue.
His arm strength is okay, but nothing great. The tools and accuracy worked in the amazing LSU passing scheme last year, but is he an automatic fit for any team?
NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Here’s the problem. Burrow isn’t the head-and-shoulder, be-all-end-all type of prospect when it comes to tools. That’s fine for a mid-to-late first rounder, but the No. 1 guy has to be special.
Take the 2018 NFL Draft, for instance.
Baker Mayfield could still turn into a superstar, but he was drafted because of his moxie, his mid-range passing skills, and his intangibles. He wasn’t a tools guy, and Cleveland took him over Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb, and Quinton Nelson – all prototypes for their respective positions – who all went in the top six.
And Lamar Jackson, who went 32nd.
Burrow isn’t a tools guy, and to get him, some team will pass on Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, and Isaiah Simmons, not to mention Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa.
In a buyer’s market for quarterbacks, so is Burrow really worth the top pick in the draft, rather than go with a premier pass rusher in Young and then go get one of the many solid options still out there?
There’s almost no bust potential for Burrow, and he’ll be a terrific pro, but there could be hard limitations on what he can do if he’s not surrounded by elite talent.
Throughout the college football season and the offseason draft process, he has been the No. 2 quarterback in our rankings. However, that’s only because we’re willing to take a very, very big home run cut on the No. 1 guy.
Projected Round: No. 1 Overall
NEXT: 2020 NFL Draft Quarterback Rankings No. 1