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Bengals take Burrow with 1st overall pick in NFL draft

Chris Graythen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Cincinnati Bengals selected quarterback Joe Burrow out of LSU with the first overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Burrow was the heavy favorite to go No. 1 following a historic season in which he threw an NCAA-record 60 touchdowns, won a national championship, and captured the Heisman Trophy.

Bengals president Mike Brown sent a letter to Burrow on Wednesday to welcome the signal-caller and express his excitement about "building championship football teams" with the young star "for many years to come," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The team also sent Burrow and his parents Bengals jerseys with his No. 9 on the back.

Burrow will return to his native state to play for the Bengals. The Athens High School product began his college career at Ohio State before transferring to LSU for his final two campaigns.

With Burrow in the fold, Andy Dalton's future in Cincinnati is now up in the air. The Bengals reached the playoffs five times since 2011 with the quarterback but haven't won a playoff game since 1990.

Prospect Profile

School: LSU
Height: 6-3
Weight: 221 lbs


  • Sublime accuracy and ball placement to all levels of the field
  • Excellent touch and trajectory on vertical throws
  • Extends plays within and outside the pocket with masterful improvisation
  • Maintains accuracy when throwing on the run
  • Poise to stand in and deliver with minimal impact against pressure
  • Reads the field well pre- and post-snap
  • Works through multiple progressions from the pocket
  • Historic season came against top competition


  • Only one year of high-level production
  • Average arm strength
  • Below-average hand size
  • Older than most top prospects

Bottom Line

Burrow is a fascinating prospect. Once a backup at Ohio State, nobody could have seen him going on to lead LSU to a national title with arguably the best season for a quarterback in college football history. He was that good. The relatively small sample of high-level productivity will give some evaluators pause, but this was no fluke. Burrow's brilliance from start to finish in 2019, improving when competition intensified against fellow SEC powerhouses and then Clemson in the national championship game, makes him one of the easiest quarterbacks to evaluate since Andrew Luck. Burrow is a shoo-in for the No. 1 pick in this year's draft.

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