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Breaking down the Bengals selecting Joe Burrow with the first pick

The one and only choice.

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The media libel, the hand size, and the trade rumors. All of it tried to dissuade Bengals fans from believing the one single truth of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Cincinnati Bengals were always going to select Joe Burrow with the first-overall pick. Now, it’s gone from an inevitability to an official part of reality known to the world.

Our Burrow analysis has stretched back to as far as the winter, and nothing has really changed on that front. As a quick refresher, the Bengals took the best quarterback in the draft, and it was the only choice they could’ve made.

What Burrow brings to the Bengals

Let’s not get cute here. Burrow is one of the most accurate quarterbacks to enter the NFL in a long time. It shows up on the stat sheet as much as its obvious to see on the field. He’s a technician in the pocket and a scholar when scanning the field. His level of decision-making, the synchronization he has between his footwork and shoulders, and his ability to create and make plays out of structure are all top-notch.

Beyond all of that, he is a true leader at the position. His level of preparation, competitive toughness, and overall demeanor is on par with the likes of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. It’s insane that those two are even being mentioned when discussing Burrow, but it’s hard to argue against it.

When you select a quarterback with the first pick in the draft, you hope his profile resembles that of Burrow’s. For a more extensive view into his game, check out our scouting report on him here.

Why the Bengals picked Burrow

Why does any team invest a first-round pick in a quarterback?

The Bengals needed a fresh start in the worst way. After suffering through three-straight losing seasons under Marvin Lewis, the team replaced him with Zac Taylor at head coach and kickstarted what has turned into a rebuild. Rebuilds don’t happen in just one year. If you’re lucky, they may only take two.

The Bengals got their coach, and they needed to pair him with a quarterback. Burrow is that guy. He was always going to be that guy as soon as the college football season concluded. Chase Young may be the best overall prospect in this draft. Tua Tagovailoa may have multiple years as a productive passer. One is just a pass rusher. The other one possesses a major injury risk.

There was never any need to overthink this.

Only until Cincinnati found a true franchise quarterback could they be legitimate contenders once more. Even under Andy Dalton, the Bengals only got as far as the rest of the team could carry him.

With Burrow, they have an asset at the most important position that will always give them a chance to be competitive. That is something worth more than what a few measly first-round picks can buy.

Bengals fans: you have a quarterback, and your window for opportunity has officially opened.