Will Joe Burrow be a good fit in Cincinnati? The Bayou Bengals won the number one pick after a horrific 2019-2020 campaign. After not being able to get anything to go in the regular season the Bengals started preparing for the offseason early. Now given the number one pick, there is only one clear option, right? Yes, Andy Dalton has taken Cincinnati through some good and bad times, but it is now time to move on. The Bengals need a fresh start for the man under center. Will the kid from LSU be able to turn Cincy around though?
Burrow had one of the best offensive lines in Baton Rouge, which gave him a lot of time to throw the ball. For example, let’s look at the SEC Championship game vs Georgia:
Joe sits in the pocket all day, literally, the finds his receiver in the end zone. This is a great throw by Burrow, but it doesn’t account for the fact that he will not have that time in an NFL game. Here is another example in the College Football Playoff semifinals against Oklahoma.
OU doesn’t have that great of defense but you see the Sooner defenders almost getting to Burrow. He simply just steps up then rolls away and finds an open player. This is just another thing that he won’t have in the NFL. The defenders would collapse on him easily and he wouldn’t have that much time to roll out. The Bengals O line is around last in the NFL, none of their linemen even ranked in the top 50% in their position. That will not be even close to what he experienced at LSU. Which takes us to the next point.
At LSU, Burrow had 2 outstanding receivers in Justin Jefferson, Terrace Marshall, and JaMar Chase. Jefferson and Chase are both top 10 receivers, who had 1,000 yard seasons. At LSU, the Tigers had an option to run or throw a play action whenever they wanted. They had strengths on every part of that offense. This luxury will not be available with the Bengals. Joe was able to extend plays for a long time, with no pressure in his face. Receivers were able to create chunk plays with all the time they had to run around.
When you look at the situation that Burrow would be walking in to, he would have Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green being the main receivers, and maybe Joe Mixon (Currently, he is holding out). Green is coming off a season-long injury, and may not be what he used to. Burrow will not have two top-ten receivers to throw the ball to, and may not have a top running back. A lot of things can happen between now and the draft, but don’t expect Burrow to do what he did at LSU, in Cincinnati.
Not to say Burrow’s schedule wasn’t that difficult but it wasn’t too hard. The Tigers had a few tough games in their conference as well as matchups against Oklahoma and Texas. This schedule would be pretty tough on paper, but when you look at it closer you see some flaws. Texas ended up going 8-5, they played Alabama with a hurt Tua, Bo Nix was a freshman QB for Auburn, and they played OU without 3 starters on defense as well. So when you really look at, a lot of things went right for LSU in their run last year. If Joe joins the Bengals this will be another tough thing to adjust to.
He will be playing in a division with the MVP, Big Ben, and Baker Mayfield. All of those teams have a good offense and defense and are playoff contenders. Burrow won’t be able to navigate as easily against these teams. He just simply can’t turn this franchise around by himself.
Burrow’s talent is undoubtedly worthy of the first pick in the draft, but he will not be able to turn Bengals around immediately. The offense he had at LSU doesn’t compare to the offense he has at the Bengals. The amount of time he had was just ridiculous and that won’t be able to happen in the NFL. His schedule will also be harder with the tough division and he can’t do it without some help.
Top Photo: Bengals Jim’s BTR– Twitter