One of the biggest part of draft seasons is prospects getting labeled with pro comparisons.
Usually, this is just a nice way of trying to explain to people who haven’t studied these players as much what kind of play style you can expect. However, Kevin Faulk, currently LSU’s running back’s coach and former NFL running back, hoisted Joe Burrow up with some pretty high praise, as Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com recounts.
“...Kevin Faulk on that staff at LSU. As the scouts have come rolling through there and they ask ‘Kevin, you’ve been in the NFL a long time. What do you think of this Burrow kid?’ And he goes ‘I’m telling you this is Tom Brady. This kid reminds me so much of Tom Brady.’ And I understand that’s the greatest of all-time and I know comparisons get people all upset. But when you watch them mechanically and you’re around their personalities, their leadership style, there’s a lot of similarities.”
This isn’t just some analyst tagging Burrow with this comparison. Faulk was on the Patriots with Brady from 2000-2011. He knows Brady as a player probably as well as anyone. Faulk also has spent two years with Burrow at LSU. Faulk was the Director of Player Development at the time. This mean the former running back spent plenty of time watching how Burrow ticks over two years.
This in no way is saying that Burrow is going to come into the NFL and just light things up. Faulk is more pointing towards the way these two quarterbacks prepare for game day as well as how they carry themselves. There is no question that Burrow has that it factor that so many coaches are looking for, and everyone saw it as he carried LSU to a National Title with the best season a quarterback has ever had in NCAA history.
Even if Burrow only ends up having a fraction of the career that Brady has had so far, it is safe to say that there will be plenty of kids being named Joe coming out of the Cincinnati area. For a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game came in 1991, any sort of player who could come in and change the trajectory would be very well received (to say the least).
As far as play styles go, you could nitpick and say Burrow is far more mobile than Brady ever was, and that Brady possesses more arm strength. However, the preparation aspect may be the most important part for projecting Burrow’s success in the NFL.
Comparisons are just for fun at the end of the day, and it is incredibly unfair to put Brady-sized expectations on a player who has yet to step on an NFL field, but this has to be incredibly encouraging to Bengals fans as it appears Burrow will be potentially leading their team for the foreseeable future.