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NFL Draft Guide: Who has the first pick in the 2020 draft?

NFL Draft Guide: Who has the first pick in the 2020 draft?

This will be an NFL Draft unlike any other. Due to the coronavirus crisis, things will look a lot different during the selection process than they have in the past. But the good news is that the draft is happening. Yes, the draft is happening and the Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock.

Joe Burrow will go No. 1

At least one thing remains the same. Like in so many other drafts, the No. 1 pick is already a slam dunk. It’s going to be Joe Burrow, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner who led the LSU Tigers to the National Championship.

And why not? Although Burrow was not really in the Heisman or No. 1 overall pick discussions heading into the 2019 college football campaign, his one season of glory was such that there are suddenly no questions about his ability to excel at the next level. That’s just how good it was. The senior from Athens, Ohio passed for a ridiculous 5,671 yards, completing 76.3 percent of his attempts and throwing 60 touchdowns compared to only six interceptions. He also rushed for 368 yards and five scores. In two College Football Playoff outings, which resulted in routs of the Oklahoma Sooners and Clemson Tigers, Burrow passed for 956 yards and 12 TDs without getting picked off a single time. Over the final five games of his career, Burrow racked up 22 touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Bayou Bengals to Cincinnati Bengals

It makes plenty of sense for the Bengals, too. They have been bad for four consecutive seasons now, especially for the last two with a combined record of 8-24 (their 2-14 mark in 2019 gave them the top pick). It is time to start over, and second-year head coach Zac Taylor would do well to continue his rebuilding process with a new quarterback as opposed to sticking with Andy Dalton. A nine-year veteran, Dalton—like many other QBs in the Cincinnati franchise—has been unable to pick up a single playoff victory. He could be released at some point this offseason, although for now the former TCU standout remains on the roster.

What to expect from Burrow in 2020

Even if the Bengals unexpectedly keep Dalton, there is no reason why Burrow should not be the starter from day one. This is a team that is likely years away from serious contention (even if Burrow plays well right away), so there is no reason to take him No. 1 overall and then sit him on the sidelines behind an unspectacular veteran. Although this may not be an absolutely ideal situation for Burrow given that his surrounding offensive cast is far from spectacular, he is already 23 years old (older than NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, in fact). The NFL learning curve will not be as long as it is for some rookie quarterbacks. Burrow is not going to be a Pro Bowler or lead Cincinnati to the playoffs, but a solid first season can be expected.

For what it’s worth, the Bengals’ over/under win total for 2020 is 5.5. Meanwhile, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is a -140 favorite to be the second quarterback behind Burrow to go off the draft board.

Pickswise Guide To The Draft 2020

A comprehensive guide to all your 2020 NFL Draft questions below:

Last updated: Fri 23rd April 2021

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