Which NFL Team Could Get Joe Burrow Next Year?
Joe Burrow has been the most dominant college football quarterback (maybe even player) over the first half of the NCAA season. He's already set an LSU single season record for passing touchdowns, and has a handful of games left.
ESPN, and other major publications, have also named him their Heisman Trophy favorite midway through the season. Now there are rumblings of Burrow shooting up NFL draft boards as scouts get more and more tape on the signal caller.
The 2020 NFL Draft Class is LOADED with quarterback talent. Here's a look at the prospects:
Tua Tagovailoa - Alabama
Justin Herbert - Oregon
Jake Fromm - Georgia
Jacob Eason - Washington
Jalen Hurts - Oklahoma
There's been a lot of talk about teams tanking their season to get Tagovailoa from Alabama, but others have challenged the projection of Tagovailoa betting drafted at #1. Some feel that his talent is amplified by the team around him, and the weakness of the schedule he plays. His health has become a concern recently too.
Herbert could have been one of the top picks in the draft last year, but he chose to return to school for his senior year. Which is something Fromm and Eason could end up doing this year.
As far as what NFL teams will be looking for a quarterback in the draft, here's a quick projection:
If Burrow doesn't lose ground, wins the Heisman and performs well at the NFL Combine, he's in the running to be the top pick in the draft. Right now the teams that need a quarterback that are in #1 overall pick territory are Cincinnati, Miami, and Atlanta. Now Atlanta does have Matt Ryan still, but he's not getting younger. If the team thinks they have their next franchise quarterback, they could snatch up Burrow, or another QB.
But if Burrow isn't at the top of the draft board for the whole league, there will still be teams further down the draft order looking for long-term quarterback solutions. Tennessee's defense will keep them in games all year, which will push them further down the draft order with every win. So if Burrow is the 4th rated quarterback on the draft board, he could slip to the late first round, and head to the Titans. Carolina is in the same boat.
Based on what we know now, Burrow is behind some of the other quarterbacks in the class as prospects, so he's probably not going at the top of the first round. Which leaves us with the teams that are good and either have an older quarterback, or a good team around a poor quarterback situation.
Teams like Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Denver, New England, or even New Orleans.
If Burrow were to land on a roster like Denver or New Orleans, he would be afforded some transition time, and to be surrounded by more talent that a team at the top of the draft order.
Here are the 5 realistic teams that Burrow could end up getting drafted by:
1. Tennessee Titans - This is a tough team, and Burrow is a tough quarterback, it just feels right.
2. Carolina Panthers - Cam is coming to the end of his career. The team has been good on defense for a long time, and Christian McCaffrey is one of the best young players in football.
3. Atlanta Falcons - Another team with an older quarterback and a good roster, where Burrow could flourish.
4. Denver Broncos - How about one more 'tough' team built on defense first where Burrow's personality would fit the team.
5. New Orleans Saints - This would be a perfect storm. Teddy Bridgewater is likely earning himself a starting quarterback contract with another franchise with his play filling in for Drew Brees. Speaking of Brees, he's near the end of his career, so there will need to be a "next" soon. LSU and Burrow have been benefiting this year from the addition of Joe Brady to the LSU staff. Brady spent two years with the Saints as an offensive assistant, and has brought some of the Saints scheme to LSU, which could make Burrow a quick learner with the Saints.