With the first pick in the NFL Draft, fans and experts alike are expecting the Cincinnati Bengals to select Joe Burrow, college football’s 2019 Heisman Trophy winner. However, just because you can lead a team to the National Championship doesn’t make you the unanimous top quarterback prospect.
Though there are few, Burrow has his naysayers, like any other projected top selection. Most of the skepticism directed towards him revolves around a lack of rare physical traits.
This was what an unnamed AFC scouting director was alluding to in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. The anonymous executive said he believes Justin Herbert is more talented than Burrow.
“Burrow or Herbert. Probably Burrow. He’s not quite as talented as Herbert, but his DNA and work ethic as the young QB would infiltrate the building and set the tone. I’d definitely go young over old.”
Burrow threw for 60 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions in his final collegiate season. He has developed into both a leader on and off the field and showed enough to be considered the best player in the draft.
While one scouting director may have one opinion, the bulk of Breer’s interviewees didn’t agree with that. Here are two of many executives that cast their vote for Burrow.
NFC Exec: “Burrow, something to build around for next 10 years. Smart, tough, athletic and accurate. Rare poise with an ‘it’ factor. The vets available may help in short-term but unlikely to elevate an average team to great.”
AFC Exec: “Burrow because if your team is average Brady and Rivers don’t make sense. Best draftable qb and chance to build for future.”
Objectively speaking, Herbert’s ability to drive the ball down the field is more apparent than Burrow’s. That is part of the overall talent equation, but far from being the bulk of it. Burrow is by far the more well-rounded prospect, and the Bengals know this by now. But don’t be surprised when Herbert’s name is called very soon after Burrow holds up a Bengals jersey.