With every inconvenience usually comes opportunity.
The weeks leading up to the NFL Draft have looked vastly different this year due to the the COVID-19 pandemic putting society on hold. Draft prospects haven’t been able to meet and workout with teams in-person, and because of this, teams have been granted more time to talk with players than in years past.
This has actually benefited the Cincinnati Bengals and Joe Burrow. According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Bengals have been calling Burrow the maximum three times per week for an hour each time.
I’m told the Bengals have maxed out their time with Burrow over the last few weeks, as they work to build a relationship with him. What does that mean? Well, each team is allowed to do three one-hour calls with each prospect per week. So every week, Cincinnati has done, yes, three one-hour calls with Burrow. If you listened to my podcast with Burrow’s trainer, Jordan Palmer, a few weeks back, you heard him say that the training for Burrow has been focused on getting him ready to play in Week 1. The amount of meetings he’s had with the team that’ll likely draft him can’t hurt in that regard either.
How many times have they actually called him? I guess you’ll have to guess the number of weeks and multiply that by three. The answer, simply put, is a lot.
It would be foolish to assume the Bengals haven’t had hour-long calls with other quarterbacks like Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert as well, but this clearly solidifies what everybody believes will happen with the first pick.
The Bengals won’t be able to bring in Burrow immediately after the draft due to social distancing protocols, so using this time to prepare him for taking the reins as the starting quarterback makes sense.
There isn’t too much that they probably don’t know about the player and person Burrow is at this point; now it’s about making sure his feet hit the ground running when things return to normal.