The inevitable has happened, the Bengals are selecting quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick. The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner was never in doubt to become the Bengals new starter after the team benched longtime starter Andy Dalton and won just two games last season. He will quickly become the Bengals starter and will help the offense from Day 1.
Burrow was a revelation in 2019 as he led the LSU Tigers to the National Championship behind his record breaking numbers. Burrow started 15 games, completing 402-of-527 passes (76.3 percent) for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns and six interceptions. Amazingly, there aren’t any typos in the previous sentence.
Burrow won’t throw the ball out of the stadium, but his ability to manage pressure while keeping his throwing technique sound and eyes going through his progressions, makes him a special player. He is a student of the game and knows how to manipulate defenders and anticipate his receivers. He’s great inside the pocket but can also feel pressure well and shows good athleticism as a runner and passer on the run. He’s the complete package and then some.
Fantasy football impact
Burrow will have an NFL learning curve, as it is inevitable, but he will quickly help out the Bengals offensive players. A.J. Green, if he can stay healthy, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon all get a boost with Burrow facilitating. The return from injury of offensive lineman and first-round pick Jonah Williams, is a much needed addition for Burrow and the offense. If he can man that left tackle spot from Day 1 and play well, Burrow will have a much easier time and could give fantasy players a sign of things to come in year one. But, a rookie, on a team that still needs to build talent, isn’t likely to burst into the top tiers of the fantasy rankings to start his career.
As long as the Bengals are committed to building the talent around Burrow, his upside is right up there with the best in the business. Think Tony Romo if he had caught a few more breaks. Of course, traditional fantasy football doesn’t value quarterbacks like it does running backs and wide receivers, but in dynasty leagues, securing a young quarterback who can lead your team for years to come has plenty of value.