It has been seemingly relentless the amount of takes coming from analysts over whether LSU quarterback Joe Burrow should allow the Bengals to select him.
One of the main themes is that the Bengals as a franchise aren’t committed enough to winning, and that Burrow would be wasting his career. Mel Kiper Jr., the face of draft coverage for ESPN, tried to change that perception when talking about the Bengals taking Burrow on First Take.
“Well first of all, the bashing of the Bengals. The Bengals have been to the Super Bowl. Four teams in the NFL have never been to the Super Bowl. They had success with Carson Palmer, they went to the playoffs, he got hurt in the playoff game, and then Andy Dalton went to the playoffs. This notion the Bengals have been just horrible and losing all the time and never getting anywhere is just ridiculous.”
It is about time somebody said it. On ESPN and took defense of a franchise that is attempting to rebuild. Cincinnati made quite a few bad decisions since 2015 when they were one of the best teams in the NFL, and that has helped fuel this narrative. Kiper does help try to show that this hasn’t been the norm for Cincinnati in recent history.
You could even make the point that Burrow helps speed up the turn around for the Bengals. They have been gathering foundation pieces for the next generation in Cincinnati. Players like Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon, Jessie Bates, Trey Hopkins, Sam Hubbard, Carl Lawson, William Jackson and more are young names that are coming into their prime. The idea that this team has no talent just isn’t true.
This narrative is just extremely frustrating because it has obviously been developed because Burrow is the obvious choice, and there really is no drama over the pick unless something is manufactured. The reason we didn’t hear this about the Browns when they were picking first overall was because there was a discussion over which quarterback they should select first overall. If there was ever a team that a quarterback should’ve pulled an Eli Manning with, it should’ve been Cleveland who has been a graveyard for quarterbacks for too long now.
Even the idea that a team like the Dolphins swooping in to take Burrow would be a better situation is just strange. Miami only had a single one-and-done playoff appearance over the same span. At the beginning of the season they even had Minkah Fitzpatrick, their first round pick in 2018, demand a trade early in the season because he felt like the team was tanking. They literally had a player do what many experts are advising Burrow to do.
These narratives obviously aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. At some point the best thing to do is avoid the noise for your own sanity. Burrow will be the pick come April, and that is just the reality of the situation.