The Bengals will have the No. 1 overall pick this year, and LSU QB Joe Burrow is already the clearest frontrunner to be selected since arguably Andrew Luck in 2012. In his senior season, Burrow won the Heisman, led LSU to the national championship, broke the NCAA record for touchdown passes with 60 and threw just six interceptions. To add the cherry on top, Burrow hails from Athens, Ohio, and spent a few years as a backup at Ohio State before transferring.
“He definitely checks off a lot of boxes early on in the evaluation process,” Bengals QB coach Alex Van Pelt said via Geoff Hobson of the official team website. “He obviously looks like a very intriguing guy.”
Cincinnati isn’t doing much to hide how smitten they are with Burrow. Bengals OC Brian Callahan has already watched every snap of Burrow’s 2019 season and says he’s “as advertised.”
“He’s got natural pocket feel. He feels it,” Callahan said. “It seems like he never takes his eyes off down the field. He extends the play really, really well. He’s a lot faster than you might assume when you see him running away from all those SEC guys. He’s got incredible up-field accuracy. The ball hardly ever hits the ground in a game, which is rare. He just naturally puts the ball in places where those guys can make plays.”
Callahan also isn’t worried about how Burrow will transition to the NFL coming from a spread system in college where he didn’t have to call the plays in the huddle. But the NFL is already moving more toward the spread. Burrow’s OC at LSU, new Panthers OC Joe Brady, also implemented much of the Saints system in his offense, so Burrow’s already been exposed to an NFL offense in a sense.
“We’ve got a lot of similarities with their pass game. A lot of NFL offenses do,” Callahan said. “He ran a lot of elements of what they did in New Orleans. Getting guys in space. Getting people in matchups. You see a lot of pro passing concepts in their offense and they did a really good job. But there are things like that you see around the league. It’s all things that fit very well with what we do and a lot of people do.”
- The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Tyler Dragon confirms the Bengals are “zeroing in” on Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick.
- Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that the Bengals are hiring Al Golden as their LBs coach.
- CBS Sports analyst and former agent Joel Corry named Buccaneers LB Shaquil Barrett as the best steal and the best use of a contract year in 2019.
- We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2020 Free Agents list.
Age has been less of a hindrance when hiring coaches in recent years, as the success of Rams HC Sean McVay when he was just 31 has emboldened many NFL teams to consider coaches younger than some of their players. The Panthers pushed the cradle-robbing even further, hiring 30-year-old Joe Brady to be their next offensive coordinator. Brady was a grad assistant at Penn State as recently as 2016, but he says his age won’t hold him back.
“Look, I’ve prepared for this moment since I got into coaching,” Brady said via Max Henson of the team website. “I never thought about my age or talked about my age. The players I coach and the people I work with — they’ve never thought about my age as a downfall. They see the work ethic and the preparation and how I approach things. They don’t see 30 years old. They see a guy who is doing everything he can for us to win.”
- The Panthers are still interested in interviewing Eagles VP of football operations Andrew Berry for their similar role, but would need to grant him final say over the roster in order for Philadelphia to allow the interview. (Mary Kay Cabot)